Quick access handgun safes are increasing in popularity and improving in terms of design as new technology comes onto the market making access more effortless and instant.
If you are looking for a compact safe that allows for quick access to keep by your nightstand or for mounting somewhere in your home, the SentrySafe QAP1BLX could be a good option.
We’ll be covering everything you need to know about this safe and determining whether it’s an ideal safe for quick access or if it’s something that’s easy to break into or malfunctions frequently (common issues with a lot of cheap safes on the market).
The QAP1BLX is an upgraded model from the previously popular QAP1BE model which aims to make this model both quicker and easier to access which is something that can only be beneficial. We’ll therefore look at some of the key features that come with this safe.
The product is made from 12-gauge steel and while it’s not solid enough to prevent a determined individual from gaining access (with some high-powered tools of course), it will serve general security purposes for keeping children or other individuals out.
The safe comes with a mounting option and once secured, it remains locked in place and very difficult to move. We will say this isn’t a safe designed to counteract theft, it’s focused more on basic security (with many opting to use this at home with children) and quick access and not to withstand a dedicated theft attempt.
While the steel is of good quality, some users have found there to be some issues with the product longevity from a functional viewpoint. The gas strut that aids in quick and convenient access, which we’ll cover shortly, can be prone to wearing down after a couple of years which can be frustrating.
Therefore, while they do offer replacement gas struts (with a fee), it’s something to keep in mind when considering an initial purchase. Not many people will want to purchase something knowing it may need frequent maintenance (though these could also just be isolated scenarios from misuse).
The SentrySafe QAP1BLX comes with two methods for access increasing the speed at which you can access your handgun or personal belongings. Firstly, there is a fingerprint scanner that can store up to 10 unique fingerprints.
This is the quickest form of access and will also allow you to give access to a select few people if needed without having to share a sensitive code. The second form of access is the backup keypad. This backup option offers a 4-digit code that can be programmed to offer another form of access.
The biometric fingerprint scanner is the primary use but we’d have like to see the keypad have a numeric combination included. It’s a small addition but widely used by other products and manufacturers for a reason!
The access is undoubtedly the key selling point with this product and while we’ve mentioned the safe is not designed to be an ultra-secure, theft-proof product, it still will have security features as standard.
Firstly, access is limited through the biometric fingerprint scanner which means only authorized users can access it. This is particularly useful for homes with children or contract workers etc…
The safe can be mounted and the steel structure is also useful for keeping this safe secure and locked firmly. A pry-resistant design has been utilized but this particular product does have a design flaw that allows for unauthorized access if someone is determined.
The video below shows the safe being popped open simply by using a steel cable tie.
This is a far from ideal scenario but unless someone knew what to look for, the safe is still generally secure by everyday standards.
Pros & Cons
- Quick Access: The fingerprint scanner that stores up to 10 unique fingerprints is ideal for quick access. This is also combined with the gas strut which further improves access enabling only single-handed use.
- Highly Rated: With over 3,000 purchases and reviews on Amazon alone, this is one of the most popular and higher-rated options available when it comes to compact and quick access gun storage. This is a testament to the product quality and delivery of its stated features.
- Storage: This safe has a decent amount of storage for a single handgun with accessories. It also comes with foam inserts to keep everything secure.
- LED Light: A bright LED light is set to a timer for clear viewing immediately after accessing your safe.
- Gas Strut Longevity: The longevity on the gas strut might not be as long as some users would require. Most have found this strut to stop working after 2 – 4 years of occasional use (a few times per month).
- Backup Keypad: The backup keypad is not numbered which is often something people use as a form of recollection. It’s a simple aspect to be missing but this simple association with numbers makes for a more suitable solution and is the primary reason why so many handgun safes use this sequence.
- Cable Tie Access: A video demonstrating how to access this safe with just a steel cable does not offer great peace of mind for a “pry-resistant” product. While it’s a very specific example and structural flaw, it’s still one that can be easily exploited with a quick Google search.
In our opinion, the SentrySafe QAP1BLX is a decent safe that serves a purpose. If you simply want a quick-access safe that is easy to mount and offers adequate protection from unauthorized people gaining access, it certainly does a job!
Its popularity is evident and while it’s not the most high-end product on the market, it’s certainly a solid option with some decent technology behind it. If you are looking for a reliable safe for long-lasting use though, the gas strut could be an issue that you’d need to address when weighing up a purchase.