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What you should know before buying a gun safe.

Release Date: 1/1/2009

Not all gun safes are the same. Different safes offer more or less protection, depending on the features included in the safe. This quick guide helps explain different feature areas and the comparative protection offered by individual features. You can determine the level of protection you want and need, and choose a safe that best meets those needs.


Locking System
The locking system connects the lock with the handle and the locking bolts. Better systems are engineered to protect against differing types of criminal attack.

  • Best – Uni-Force™ System — Ultimate protection against pry and side bolt attacks. Includes the OmniBarrier System to encase the lock in steel and hard plate, protecting it against drill and punch attack.
  • Better – Force Deflector™ System — Better than most industry systems protecting against side bolt attack. Includes secondary re-locker, hard plate and hardened pin lock protection to defend against attack on the lock.
  • Good – Standard Locking System — Includes secondary re-locker, hard plate and hardened pin lock protection to defend against attack on the lock.

Door Thickness
A thicker, more rigid door is better able to resist pry attacks. A door formed from multiple pieces of steel is more rigid because strategic bends in the metal add strength. A formed door also includes fire insulation, and therefore provides more fire protection.

  • Best – Duo-Formed® Door — 1 5⁄16" thick door face.Full steel interior panel.
  • Better – 1" Formed Door — 1" thick door face. Steel reinforcement panels.
  • Good – Plate Door — 3⁄16" thick solid steel door face.

Steel Thickness
Thicker steel means more protection from any type of criminal attack and from fire.

  • Best – 3⁄16" Steel — Equivalent to about 6.5 gauge, 0.1875" thick.
  • Better – 10 gauge — 0.135" thick.
  • Good – 12 gauge — 0.105" thick.

Locking Bolts and Bolt Direction
Larger locking bolts are stronger to provide more pry resistance. Bolts on the top and bottom also make the door more pry resistant.

  • Best – Four-sided coverage — 1 1⁄2" or 1 1⁄4" bolts.
  • Better – Three-sided coverage — 1" bolts.
  • Good – Two-sided coverage — 1" bolts.

Fire Protection

Insulation Thickness
More insulation means more protection. Insulation acts as a barrier and has a cooling effect. Thicker insulation is a better barrier.

  • Best – Five layers of 1⁄2" thick insulation — So thick it is very visible.
  • Better – Three or four layers of 1⁄2" insulation.
  • Good – One or two layers of 1⁄2" insulation.

Door Seal
The door seal activates during a fire to seal the interior of the safe from the fire on the outside. It prevents heat from getting in around the perimeter of the door and keeps the inside cooler. Works by expanding intumescent action in response to heat.

  • Best – Premium 3-in-1 Palusol® seal — Palusol is the industry standard expanding door seal. Includes triple-fin protection for a tighter seal and protection against cold smoke damage.
  • Better – Palusol® seal — Industry standard expanding door seal. Expands from five to nine times its original size.
  • Good – Simple rubber seal — All Browning ProSteel safes use a Palusol seal for better protection.


Interior Configuration
A safe should allow maximum storage within its interior, and make it easy for the owner to access the items stored inside.

  • Best – DPX® Storage System — Store long guns, handguns and many small items on the door back in a system of pouches, pockets and loops. Long gun and shelf storage inside the safe, convertible to all long gun.
  • Better – Duo-Plus™ Interior — Store long guns on the door back. Long gun and shelf storage inside the safe, convertible to all long gun.
  • Good – Convertible long gun/shelf storage inside the safe — No long gun storage on the door back. All Browning ProSteel safes designed for long gun storage include door back long gun capacity.

Other Important Features

All Browning ProSteel safes also include: 180° Opening External Hinges for easy access to safe interior (except Compact Series). A steel reinforced door frame for superior pry resistance. Industry-standard Sergeant & Greenleaf® mechanical or electronic locks. All Browning ProSteel safes carry the UL® Residential Security Container rating.

Why step up?

Starting with the flagship Platinum Plus Series, there is a “Why Step Up?” section at the top of the description area for each series. This section is a list of just the features that distinguish that series from the series below (to the next page or pages) in the safe line up. The “Why Step Up?” for the Gold Series shows the features on the Gold models that are different from the Medallion Series. “Why Step Up?” is an easy comparison between Browning ProSteel safe series.

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