ALL 5 Fort Knox Pistol Safes (Comprehensive Review) - SafesRight

ALL 5 Fort Knox Pistol Safes (Comprehensive Review)

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The Fort Knox Pistol Safes are a category of safes built by Fort Knox Vaults. While Fort Knox mainly specializes in full-size custom safes and vaults, they have also branched out and created some of my favorite pistol boxes. These pistol safes all have quite a few features in common, and their main differences come down to the size, shape, and where the door is placed on the safes.

Fort Knox Pistol Safes at a Glance

  1. Locking Mechanism – Simplex mechanical push button lock by Kaba
  2. Steel thickness – 10 gauge steel body and 3/16″ plate door
  3. Fire rating – None (Normal for pistol safes)
  4. Security Features – Bolt down holes
  5. Warranty – Lifetime warranty
  6. Aesthetics – Very utilitarian design
  7. Additional Features – Foam Lined interior

Original PB1Personal PB4Auto PB5Shotgun PB6
Simplex LockYesYesYesYes
Steel Thickness10 gauge10 gauge10 gauge10 gauge
Weight22 pounds20 pounds14 pounds62 pounds
Internal Dimensions10 1/4″D X 3 5/8″H X 8 1/4″W10.5″D x 8.25″W x 4.75″H4.75″D x 3.75″H x 7.75″WUnknown
External Dimensions10.26 × 12.5 × 4.259 × 5 × 12 in9.3 × 5 × 6 in5 × 45 × 9 in

1. Original Pistol Box (PB1)

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5.0
$299.00
Pros:
  • High quality build
  • Very thick steel
  • Fantastic non-electronic push button lock
  • Very reliable
Cons:
  • Extremely heavy
Specifications:
  • Lock: Simplex Mechanical Lock
  • Dimensions: 4.5" High 12.5" Wide by 10.37" Deep
  • Steel: 9-gauge
  • Fire Rating: N/A
  • Weight: 22 pounds
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02/18/2024 04:35 pm GMT

The PB1 Original Pistol Box is one of Fort Knox’s first pistol boxes they made. This is a top opening, and just like all the other pistol boxes, it has the Simplex lock on it. This safe would be great for being bolted in, on a nightstand, or kept in a car or camper. Due to its heft, it isn’t meant to be a portable safe but rather a heavy-duty pistol safe.

This is truly an amazing pistol safe, and regularly is one of my top recommended pistol safes on the market today. It does a great job of making a high-quality safe, with a great locking mechanism, and still having one of the highest gauge steel shells out there. Of course, the major downside to this safe is that it is by no means portable, as the thick steel definitely hinders that.

However, if you are looking for a nightstand safe, and don’t plan on moving it often, you might just want to bolt this safe down, and leave it there, while still maintaining a secure spot.

2. Personal Pistol Box (PB4)

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5.0
Pros:
  • Extremely thick steel
  • Great locking mechanism
  • Compact sizing
  • Front opening door
  • Anchor points available for bolting down
Cons:
  • Quite heavy for its size
Specifications:
  • Lock: Simplex Lock
  • Dimensions: 3.75” High by 7.75" Wide by 4.75" Deep
  • Steel: 10-gauge
  • Fire Rating: N/A
  • Weight: 14 pounds
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The Personal Pistol Box is a very similar product to the Original; however, this time, the door is on the face of it, and it is a different shape as well.

This safe is basically for those who can’t use the PB1. I previously mentioned that the Original (PB1) is difficult to fit under a car seat or under a bed. However, this Personal Pistol Box fixes that issue! With its front opening door, it can lay flat in a confined space and easily be opened.

That said, it would be a terrible choice to purchase this to install into drawers, as you couldn’t access the inside of the unit. The smaller door opening also makes it more difficult to access in a pinch.   

3. Auto Pistol Box (PB5)

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4.5
$280.00
Pros:
  • Extremely thick steel
  • Great locking mechanism
  • Compact sizing that fits car
  • Front opening door
  • Anchor points available for bolting down
Cons:
  • Quite heavy for its size
Specifications:
  • Lock: Simplex Lock
  • Dimensions: 3.75” High by 7.75" Wide by 4.75" Deep
  • Steel: 10-gauge
  • Fire Rating: N/A
  • Weight: 14 pounds
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02/18/2024 05:06 pm GMT

If you are looking for a Fort Knox pistol safe, but want to put it into your vehicle, this is the one to get. It’s nearly identical to the PB4 above, but cuts the depth down of 6″. This makes it perfect for fitting it into areas with a more shallow depth. This is also what makes it a fantastic safe to put into your car, as its front facing door, and lower depth allows it to fit under seats, and doesn’t take up nearly as much room.

4. Shotgun Security Box (PB6)

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4.5
Pros:
  • Extremely thick steel
  • Great build quality
  • Keypad-style mechanical lock
Cons:
  • Limited capacity
  • Only shorter firearms fit
  • Expensive
Specifications:
  • Lock: Simplex Lock
  • Dimensions: 5” High by 9" Wide by 45" Deep
  • Steel: 10 gauge
  • Fire Rating: N/A
  • Weight: 36 pounds
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Surprisingly, the Shotgun Security Box PB6 by Fort Knox is my favorite security box. This is mainly because this is the first time on the market that something like this exists.

It carries all the great features of the other boxes but lengthens it to 45″ in length. This allows for shotguns or other long guns to be kept in it. This would be great for the back of SUVs or Trucks and under the bed.

It might even be an excellent option for being in a closet, but you would want to make sure you can pull the firearm out of the top and still have room up above.

5. Controlled Access Box (CAB)

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4.0
$623.00
Pros:
  • High gauge steel
  • Fantastic warranty
  • Simplex locking mechanism
Cons:
  • A bit tall for shorter beds (if used as an under-bed safe)
Specifications:
  • Lock: Simplex Lock
  • Dimensions: Varies by Choice
  • Steel: 10-gauge
  • Fire Rating: N/A
  • Weight: Varies by Choice
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02/18/2024 05:16 pm GMT

This controlled access box by Fort Knox is not meant to be separate from a gun safe. Instead, it is intended to sit inside and be in a full-size safe!

Here is an example: A family has four people in a home, and the primary owner wants all of them to be able to access the safe because they should have access to hard drives, firearms, and more.

However, they don’t want them to have access to the deed to the house or certain jewelry.

This is where the CAB comes in! It allows for the whole family to be able to access the safe, but only the people you want to have access to access the CAB. These CAB units come in 3 different sizes: a 20″, 24″, and a 28″ version.

More About The Simplex Lock

The Simplex is one of my favorite locks on the market right now. It gives the best of both worlds; it works like an electronic lock but has the reliability of a mechanical lock. This lock has over 1000 possible combinations. That isn’t a crazy amount when you think about it, but remember, you are buying yourself time when buying a safe gun, which is pretty adequate. 

You also have to remember that they are more likely to try to steal the safe or break into it than try to put a ton of combos into a lock. So make sure to secure your safe down to something sturdy; that way, they waste their time doing that instead of trying to put in every code possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where are Fort Knox safes made?

All safes made by Fort Knox Vaults are right here in the USA! More specifically, they are made at their 993 North Industrial Park Rd factory in Orem, Utah.

Are Fort Knox Safes worth the money?

In the gun safe world, you get what you pay for, and that isn’t more evident than with a Fort Knox pistol safe. While they are expensive for such a simple safe, they offer an excellent value for safety to the dollar.

What is the best bedside gun safe?

The Fort Knox PB1 is hands down one of the best bedside safes out there right now. It offers quick access, thick steel, and reliability—a rare combination in the safe world.

Conclusion

Fort Knox is the name to beat if you are looking for a heavy-duty pistol that is safe to avoid moving regularly. Their safes are meant for a specific task and don’t compromise. They are intended to defeat a burglar in a smash-and-grab.

Due to the number of possible combinations available, the Simplex locks on these safes are both a significant strength and a weakness. However, the strengths of being quick to access, easy to use, and lacking battery life far outweigh any downsides.

Fort Knox also offers lifetime warranties on their products and continues to be one of the manufacturers of gun safes today, if not my favorite.

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