Since its founding more than thirty years ago, Fort Knox has been producing premium vaults and safes that it proudly proclaims to be America’s Best. Their American-made safes come with one of the best warranties in the business, and they pride themselves on surpassing industry standards in all of their products. There is no question that their full-size safes are top-notch, but are their smaller products just as good for those looking for the best handgun safe?
The Fort Knox FTK-PN Personal Pistol Box is one of the sturdiest handgun safes on the market within its price point. Slightly deeper than Fort Knox’s Auto Pistol Box at 12.5″ wide x 9.5″ deep x 5″ high, it is advertised as being suitable for cars or any limited space area. The box is constructed from 10 gauge steel with a 3/16″ plate door that swings open in the front for quick access in tight spots. With this heavy construction, it’s no surprise that it weighs a full 19 pounds. It locks with a Simplex 9600 deadbolt controlled by a 5-button key pad with a rotating knob. Like Fort Knox’s bigger safes, it comes with a lifetime warranty.
Pros of this safe:
If you’re looking for the very best handgun safe, the FTK-PN is certainly a good place to start. It’s simple but solid and feels noticeably better-made than other safes. The biggest point in its favor, though, is the all-mechanical locking system. There’s no key to lose like with cheaper safes, but it is also not reliant on batteries that might fail at precisely the wrong moment. With no electrical components, you can count on this safe to perform exactly as expected when you need it.
The safe comes with four convenient mounting holes on the bottom that are easy to secure with 5/16″ bolts or a cable tether. Another major positive is that the door is spring-assisted, making it open smoothly and quickly when necessary. The interior is simple and uncluttered with no compartments to get in the way, and the box is completely carpet-lined, so you can be sure it won’t scratch up your guns.
The other primary benefits are exactly what you would guess from Fort Knox: A world-class warranty, and the knowledge that your safe is made in the USA.
Cons of this safe:
On the downside, this is a very small safe. The interior measures 8.25″ by 10.5″ by 3.75″, so documents will not fit inside without creasing, and full-sized handguns will need to be laid flat instead of lined up vertically. The size is completely adequate for ammunition, a tactical flashlight, and a pistol (or two, if they’re small), as well as perhaps a little jewelry or cash if you don’t mind cluttering it a bit.
When it comes to use, the main drawback is that the buttons take some getting used to. Since they’re on the front and not the top, they can feel a little loose or jiggly, which can make it take longer to enter your combination. This can be overcome pretty easily by doing a few dry runs each month to stay in practice. The lock also lacks a lock-out system after incorrect attempts, so it would be nice if there were a limit to the number of wrong combinations that could be entered in quick succession.
The only other real downside is the price tag, which can be a little daunting when compared to some other brands. However, when you take into consideration the overall quality and strength of the safe, though, it seems a little more reasonable.
The FTK-PN is certainly a contender for being the best handgun safe on the market. While small, it’s high-quality and tough enough for any purpose. It is probably best suited for those interested in serious protection from home invasion. If you’re only concerned about keeping your toddler away from your pistol, you might be able to get away with something a little cheaper, but even in that case, you won’t go wrong with something as secure as the Fort Knox FTK-PN.