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    Gun Safe Lock Types Which Should You Invest In

    Gun safes are built with highly secure locking mechanisms, designed to deter theft or unauthorized access to your firearms or other valuables. There are several options when it comes to gun safe lock types. Which is best for you ultimately comes down to your needs, preferences and budget. Here, Tractor Supply explains the differences between the lock types available in our inventory of gun safes for sale

    Combination/Dial Gun Safe Locks

    In use since the 1800s in a variety of applications, combination locks are perhaps the most familiar. Also referred to as dial locks, these use a sequence of letters, numbers or symbols to unlock a gun safe. These locks are ideal for those who prefer a more basic locking mechanism, with no electronic technology to worry about. They are proven to be reliable in safeguarding your gun collection and valuables, but only the owner of the gun safe should know the combination. 

    Combination and dial locks typically have the following parts, which work together to lock and unlock the gun safe:

    • Wheel pack: This is a group of wheels inside the lock. There is usually one wheel per number, letter or symbol.
    • Combination dial: This is the knob that gun safe owners spin to enter their access code. 
    • Spindle: This is what connects the combination dial to the wheels and drive cam. 
    • Drive cam: This part turns inside the safe when the combination dial is spun on the outside. 
    • Drive pin: This is attached to the drive cam and fits into a small slot on the adjacent wheel (called the wheel fly). This eventually makes all wheels spin so the desired combination can be dialed, which is referred to as “picking up the wheels.”
    • Wheel fly: All wheels have cut-out notches or slots. When the correct passcode is entered, these notches will all perfectly align. 
    • Fence: This small yet critical piece is a metal bar, which is attached to a lever and prevents the gun safe’s door from opening without the correct combination. The fence blocks the bolt securing the door by resting up against the wheels. When unlocking, the fence releases into a gap that enables the door to open. 

    Dialing the combination might remind you of opening your high school locker. First, turn the dial clockwise until you reach the first number in the combination. Next, turn the dial counter-clockwise until the second number appears. Last, turn the dial clockwise until hitting the last number. At this point, the safe should unlock and open. If you want added peace of mind, you can opt for a dual combination and keyed lock, which comes with a backup key. 

    Electronic Keypad Gun Safe Locks

    Highly popular options, electronic keypad gun safe locks provide quick and easy access to the right person. Owners simply input a predetermined passcode on an electronic keypad, which looks similar to a standard calculator or phone. Electronic keypads usually include the option for number or letter combinations. In most cases, they do not require a hard-wire electrical connection, instead relying on a battery that should be changed every six to 12 months, depending on your usage. If your gun safe is hard-wired, the lock should come with a backup battery for peace of mind in a power outage. 

    When the correct code is entered, the lock utilizes an electrical current to power the locking mechanism, which may consist of a motor, electromagnet or solenoid, depending on the make and model. From there, the locks open in the same mechanical fashion as combination and dial locks. Many gun safe owners find electronic keypad locks to be a faster way of accessing their firearms and valuables, especially in an emergency. Look for electronic keypad locks comprised of heavy-duty parts, as well as ones that make it easy to regularly update your gun safe code without the assistance of a locksmith. 

    For extra assurance, opt for a dual electronic keypad and keyed gun safe lock. This type combines the security of electronic keypad locks while providing a backup key if electricity fails or batteries die. 

    Biometric Gun Safe Locks

    Biometric gun safe locks take electronic locks a step further. Rather than requiring a passcode, they scan the owner’s physical identity for markers set to unlock the gun safe, such as:

    • Fingerprint
    • Facial features
    • Eye retina
    • Voice

    Only after identifying their physical identity will the gun safe unlock for the rightful owner. Though biometric gun safes are usually more expensive, they are rapidly becoming more and more popular – and for good reasons. For one, compared to entering a passcode or dialing a combination, biometric gun safes offer rapid access by quickly scanning a physical trait. There are also dual biometric and keyed gun safe locks available, which include a backup key for added peace of mind if the technology fails. 

    Other Gun Safe Lock Options

    If you’re looking for a different type of gun safe lock, regularly check the inventory at Tractor Supply. Alternate gun safe locks may include anything from the traditional lock-and-key design to high-tech, touch-free entry systems. There are even some gun safes with Wi-Fi connectivity, informing you whenever the safe is unlocked via a smartphone notification. 

    Deciding between Mechanical, Electronic and Biometric Locks

    Mechanical gun safe locks do not require batteries or electricity, and they typically have a longer lifespan thanks to their tried-and-true construction. Meanwhile, electronic and biometric gun safe locks offer quicker access at crucial moments. While arguments can be made to support either side of the debate, choosing a mechanical or electronic gun safe lock comes down to your budget, how you plan to use your gun safe and other preferences. 

    At Tractor Supply, we support those living Life Out Here by providing quality, trustworthy products that we’d recommend to our own families and friends. When shopping for a gun safe, we’re here to help you find the best locking mechanism for your needs. Our selection includes a variety of top gun safe brands, including Cannon SafeLiberty SafeRemingtonSports AfieldStack-On and Winchester Safes. Learn more about gun safe lock types in our buying guide

    Get Your Next Gun Safe at Tractor Supply

    Gun safes are an important investment for any gun owner. Tractor Supply carries an impressive selection of gun safes, from fire-rated gun safes and non-fire-rated options to handgun and pistol safes. For help finding the best gun safe lock type for your needs, visit your local Tractor Supply store today. You can also browse our inventory online to find the information you need.