The basic idea behind a gun lock is that if someone were to get a hold of the gun, they would be unable to fire it.
While it is never a good idea to leave your firearms where children or teens can access them unsupervised, these gun locks can help prevent unnecessary accidents.
There are two different kinds of gun locks which can fit many types of guns: trigger locks and cable locks.
Trigger locks are a padlock-like lock that goes around the actual gun trigger and prevents an individual from pulling the trigger.
The second is a cable lock, which blocks the gun barrel to prevent the gun from firing ammunition.
While both types of gun locks have their individual drawbacks, they can be a convenient way to secure your firearm in situations where they are outside of a locked safety box.
The third type of gun lock is an ammo lock, which secures the outside of ammunition boxes to secure the ammunition inside, making it harder for someone to load and fire a gun.accidents.
There are a number of different types of locks – trigger locks, cable locks, keyed locks, combination locks – and each has its purpose.
But when it comes to choosing the best lock for your gun, we tend to think that one that works with a variety of weapons is the ideal solution.
PTS Cable Gun Lock
Simple and versatile, PTS made an all-in-one gun lock. With 15” of total cable length, you can lock up just about any gun you own.
For every type of PTS gun lock in this series, this single key that you get will work well for it.
That’s a good thing, but it also means that you’ll have multiple keys (if you purchase multiple locks) that all act as skeleton keys.
On the entire cable, right on down to the locking mechanism, there’s a protective coating. This prevents scratching up the working parts of your guns, even if the trigger is pulled.
PTS made one of the most affordable gun locks imaginable, while being approved for use by the DOJ of California, who are notoriously difficult to appeal to.
If you ended up getting a PTS pistol case, this will fit right inside of it with ease.
FSDC Cable Gun Lock
Much like the PTS model we just reviewed, this is approved for use by the California Department of Justice, which is a feat in and of itself.
That’s because it features similar attributes to the PTS, including a 15” total length to lock up multiple types of firearms with no problem.
Nearly every inch of the cable is layered in a protective coating that prevents scratches and wear-and-tear from damaging the inside of your gun chamber.
We say nearly, because there’s a small section near the locking mechanism that isn’t covered, though this won’t be an issue during use.
With a .210” diameter for the cable, it’s able to fit in plenty of small spaces.
While it’s durable, it’s also thin so you won’t have to struggle with the cable while unlocking your gun in a pinch.
FSDC kept budget shoppers in mind, and even offer a three-pack of these locks to cut down on costs.
Master Lock 90TSPT Gun Lock
Not a fan of cable locks?
Most people aren’t. They are a bit of a hassle to use when you consider a home invasion situation where you need to unlock your gun.
Nobody wants to yank out 8” of wire (the halfway point) of most cables.
The alternative are trigger locks. Master Lock’s 90T model covers the entire trigger area on just about every type of pistol and rifle you can imagine, as well as ARs.
Built with a mechanism that only Master Lock can make, the body is crafted out of steel and zinc for maximum effectiveness.
With an adjustable ratchet system, you can contour this to the size of your trigger for maximum effectivity.
This keeps everything safe from little hands or anyone going behind your back, but don’t debilitate you in the event of an emergency situation.
In our opinion, it’s the perfect solution.
Master Lock 94DSPT Gun Lock
You can’t avoid Master Lock; they’ve lasted so long in this industry for a reason, even with the rise of digital, keyless locks.
Much like their other model that we just reviewed, you can contour the locking mechanism to the size of your trigger area for multiple different gun types and sizes.
You don’t need to fumble with or find a key to open this one though: it’s a triple digit tumbler system.
Three quick thumb motions, and you’ll have this unlocked in the event of an emergency.
No running across the room for the key only to run back and spend time lining it up. It’s that simple.
The steel and zinc body won’t rust with age, even if you don’t touch the gun for months at a time.
Adjustable, durable, and dirt cheap in terms of quality gun locks—what’s not to love?
Master Lock is more safety for less.
Gun Locks FAQ
Are Gun Locks Effective?
Gun locks are effective when it comes to preventing accidental death or misfiring in your home.
Many Americans own guns, and while we obviously advocate for gun ownership, we specifically advocate responsible gun ownership.
You don’t need to have it in a safe, so long as you have a lock on it.
Gun locks prevent curious children from using a firearm. You shouldn’t leave it laying around, but this will prevent them from firing.
Since cable-style systems usually replace the magazine in 9mm pistols and bullets in revolvers, it’s safe for your family, but there’s something else to consider.
Gun locks are also very effective at preventing you from springing to action during a home invasion.
A trigger lock with a tumbler system is the fastest way to get to your gun, but undeniably, it would be better to not have a lock on it at all when you’re dealing with an intruder.
They’re safe, but you should practice speed unlocking in the event of an invasion.
Can Bolt Cutters Cut a Gun Lock?
The locks on this list can be cut through with bolt cutters.
There are some cutter-proof locks that exist, but those range in the $200.00+ range for about 4.5-5 feet worth of length, and are usually made for bicycle locks.
But what can you do to prevent your cable locks from being cut through?
Quite simply, hide your guns better.
If your 9mm is in the closet on the top shelf right next to your bed, an intruder isn’t going to come in and cut the lock to shoot you with your own gun.
If there’s malicious intent like that, they’re already packing.
What you have to worry about is delinquent teenagers or children that can’t seem to stop talking about your guns.
For this, trigger locks are the way to go. Trigger locks are also more effective when it comes to self-defense, since you just have to unlock it and then fire.
Cable systems sometimes replace the entire magazine, so you also have to load your gun after unlocking it.
Why Should You Use a Gun Lock?
Gun locks exist for safety protocol. Even if you’re a gun enthusiast, you can’t deny the statistics about accidental deaths and misfirings in the United States.
Those should be prevented, of course, and gun locks are the way to go to get that done.
It’s basically all about safety. Don’t let anyone try to sell you on the idea that it’s better for homeowners insurance.
In truth, most homeowners insurance policies don’t even request information about firearms in your home.
Those that do, like eSurance and Allstate, don’t increase your premium as a result of owning one.
They’re actually considered valuables, and it’s always a good idea to lock up your valuables.
Gun locks are all about safety and your own personal peace of mind in protecting yourself from liability.
In the event that someone close to you does get your gun, there’s a whole different argument made if you had a lock in place.
Are Trigger Locks Mandatory?
No, they are not required. In 1997, President Clinton tried to pass legislation that required gun owners to have some sort of a locking mechanism on their guns, but it failed.
The argument for protecting yourself and your family is much stronger than that of accidents or misfirings.
As we talked about earlier, you’re at a disadvantage if you hear a prowler ascending your staircase, and you have to fumble with a lock before you can protect yourself.
Cable locks are the most inconvenient, since it may replace your magazine spot in some firearms.
They aren’t mandatory, but they are recommended. Firearms should always be kept in an area that you can supervise and consistently check on it.
In the event that your gun is missing, you have a window of time (due to the gun lock) before whoever took it can access it and cause harm to others.
After all, it is registered in your name. It’s a good idea, just not a requirement.
Types Of Gun Locks
Trigger locks come in both key and combination lock styles and are used on any sized gun to prevent misfires. These locks come in two halves that encase the trigger mechanism of the firearm to prevent accidents.
Most trigger locks come with either a set of keys or a tumbler design that can be set to the combination of your choice.
These are a good option for larger firearms and for situations like demo booths and shooting ranges where the firearms will be supervised for most of the time but may need extra security throughout the day.
Cable locks, due to their versatility, are ideal for both pistols and shotguns. By threading a cable through the barrel, these locks prevent ammunition from reaching the barrel and can prevent a gun from firing.
These locks are best for long-term storage and added security, as they can ensure that your firearms are safely locked away. A gun lock will make sure your gun cannot be fired without the key.
The ammunition lock is usually a reinforced padlock that can be attached to the outside of a metal ammunition storage box to prevent unauthorized use. These are inexpensive and can help give you peace of mind when it comes to the safe storage of your firearms.
Make sure to do your research on each gun lock option, as some are designed to fit one type of gun. When storing your firearms, make sure they are unloaded and have the safety on.
Do not store your ammunition in the same locked areas your firearms, and make sure to keep the keys for these areas in separate locations. By practicing good gun safety, you can help prevent accidental deaths caused by gun misfires and have peace of mind.
How To Use A Gun Lock Video
Here is a good YouTube video showing how to properly use a gun lock:
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