Stack-on SafesThe Stack On brand first started in 1972 with just a few employees and just a small manufacturing facility. Now, Stack On has outgrown most of its completion and built a near half of a million square foot storage and manufacturing facility in Wauconda, IL. In fact, Stack-On is now one of the leading U.S. manufacturers of home, office, and industrial storage solutions. They have also made a huge impact on the gun safe world by offering a more inexpensive affordable alternative to the big name high-end safe’s like Liberty and Browning.


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In addition to gun safes and gun cabinets, Stack On offers a pretty extensive product line that offers a good variety of storage and organizational products. This includes plastic and steel work cabinets for the garage, toolboxes and tool storage, rolling tool chests, hardware organizers, steel workbenches and tons more. Stack-On also appeals to the hobbyists by manufacturing plastic totes, bins, organizers and MDF cabinetry. Okay, since you’re here to learn about some of their best selling gun safes, let’s move on!

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As you have probably already learned, the world of gun safes is saturated with hundreds of different brands and manufacturers and it’s nearly impossible to shuffle through thousands of safes. That is exactly why I’ve chosen to create this page. I’ve strategically hand picked the best selling safes from all different manufacturers that range from affordable to well, not affordable ha ha. If you haven’t read my page on what to look for in a gun safe I highly suggest it! But for now, this next paragraph or two will give you some brief knowledge on what to look for in a gun safe and the review categories that I go over in every safe.

The first thing to do is decide your capacity. You’ll always want to get something bigger than you need. This will allow you to grow into your safe and not out of. Even if you have just 2 or 3 guns, I always suggest getting something that can hold at least 16 guns. This will allow room for expansion and accessories. The second thing to look for is the fire protection rating of the safe. The protection rating is measured in degrees and minutes and generally starts at around 20 minutes at 1200°F. I strongly suggest not settling for a safe that has less than 60 minutes of fire protection at 1200°F. In the event of an unfortunate house fire, a gun cabinet will not hold up and all your valuables will be toast!

The next thing to consider when looking for a safe is the actual strength and security of the safe. Make sure to choose a safe that has a thick steel body that is made of at least 12-gauge steel and also has locking bolts that cover all 4 sides of the safe door. If ease of access is important to you, an electronic keypad or biometric lock is definitely the way to go. This also makes it much easier to access your firearms in the event of an emergency.

If you’re planning placing your safe somewhere other than the closet, I would suggest choosing a safe that has a customizable exterior. This will allow you to choose a color and design that matches your home décor perfectly. You’ll also want a spacious customizable interior with lighting, dehumidifier and outlets. If it does not come standard with lighting and a dehumidifier, these are easy things to add as long as the safe has a built in outlet.

Last but not least, a warranty. Odds are, you are going to have your safe for a very long time so it is important to order a safe that has a lifetime warranty. The lifetime warranty should cover damage from attempted break-ins, break-ins and fire damage. Some manufactures will even pay shipping costs!

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Total Defense

Stack On Total Defense Gun SafeThe Total Defense series from Stack-On is a light to mid security option that is very affordable and packed with value. Out of all the safes I’ve reviewed this has got to be one of those most value packed safe’s out there. Stack-On is certainly not the quality Liberty or Browning but it definitely has it’s own niche. The Total Defense series comes in a huge variety of sizes ranging from a small 22 long-gun option all the way up to their largest model, which is the 54 long-gun model. With prices as affordable as these, there is no reason not to jump up to their largest model. Let’s take a look at some of the features that make the Total Defense such a great deal.

When it comes to fire protection, the Total Defense has got you covered. As I said in the outline, I always recommend a minimum of 60 minuets worth of fire protection not matter the situation and the Total Defense offers up and over the minimum and provides 75 minutes of fire protection at 1400°F. This should be enough fire protection for situations but if you’re planning on storing some items of extreme value I would suggest going with something that offers closer to the 2 hour mark.

Stack-On Total Defense Safe Door OpenThe Total Defense safe includes some pretty descent security features for the price but nothing to really hit that high-level security rating. Included is a 13-gauge steel body with a thick steel door that includes 1 ½” steel bolts that cover all 4 sides of the safe’s door. It also includes a hardened steel plate located behind the lock to help aid in the prevention of drilling. This series also comes with your choice of an electronic or mechanical lock. A unique feature not found in most safes is the waterproof feature of this series. As long as your safe is bolted to the ground, the Total Defense can withstand up to 72 hours in 2ft of standing water. The Stack-On Total Defense meets the safety standards of the California Department of Justice.

When it comes to exterior options, there really isn’t much customization offered. Depending on the size and lock choice you get, there are a few different variations in color. The interior of the safe is lined in gray carpet and comes with some adjustable shelving. Also included is a door mounted storage panel that can hold a variety of accessories as well handguns. Since this series comes with a built in outlet, I would highly suggest picking up an LED lighting kit and a dehumidifier.

Stack-On provides a limited lifetime warranty that protects your safe from damage due to break-in attempts, break-ins and fire damage. Also included is a 5 years warranty that covers materials and workmanship.

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Tactical Security

Stack-On Tactical Security SafeThe Tactical Security Safe is unique in that it is designed specifically for tactical weapons and quick easy access to your weapons. This is really the best option from Stack-On if you need something specifically for your tactical firearms. The Tactical series only comes in one unique size option. It is capable of holding 4 tactical weapons as well as 16 standard sized long-guns. If you are looking for something that hold can hold a larger selection of tactical weapons, I would suggest checking out some of the other brands tactical safe options.

The fire protection rating for the Tactical series is 30 minutes at 1400°F. This is 30 minutes below my recommendation of 60 minutes of fire protection. If you are sold on this series I would suggest storing it somewhere that is fire retardant like a cement garage or basement. If you are looking for something for your game room or living room, I would highly suggest going with something with significantly more fire protection.

Stack-On Tactical Security Safe Door OpenThe strength and security features of the Tactical series includes a 4-way locking system that includes 10 – 1 ½” locking bolts that cover all four sides of the safe’s door to help aid in the prevention of prying. Also include is a thick steel hard plate located behind the lock to help protect against drilling. The Tactical series is not the strongest and most protected series from Stack-On so I would avoid storing high priced valuables in it and look for something a little higher in protection.

The exterior of the Tactical series comes in a matte black finish with unique riveted steel tread plate and steel accents for a pretty sweet look. It’s unique looks definitely set it apart from all the other models from Stack-On. The safes interior is coated in gray carpet and includes adjustable shelving for plenty of storage options. It also comes with handy door panel mounted storage with hook and loop handgun holders, accessory pockets and clip holders. For easy access, the tactical model includes a backlit electronic keypad. I would suggest picking up a lighting kit and dehumidifier if you are considering purchasing this model!

Stack On includes a lifetime warranty on their Tactical series that covers damage from break-ins, break-in attempts as well as fire damage. Also included is a 5 year warranty that covers your safe against defects in material and workmanship.

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Stack-On Elite SafeThe Elite series is definitely one of the more popular safes from Stack-On due to its affordability. I find that most people that are interested in a Stack-On safe aren’t necessarily looking for something showpiece worthy but more for something simple that can keep their firearms somewhat safes without spending a ton of money. Stack-On has definitely dominated that niche. The Elite comes in 5 sizes ranging from a small 14-gun model all the way up to their generously sized 66 long-gun safe capacity. Although there are plenty of capacity options included in the Elite series, the actual strength and security of the safe may not quite be what you’re looking for.

When it comes down fire protection, the Elite series doesn’t place very high. It includes 30 minutes of fire protection at 1400°F. If you’ve read any of my other reviews this may sound absolutely redundant, but I always strongly recommend a safe that has a minimum of 60 minutes worth of fire protection. If you’re sold on the Elite series, I would suggest storing it somewhere like a cement garage, basement, or somewhere that is somewhat fire retardant.

Stack-On Elite Safe Door OpenThe body of the Elite series is made from 13-gauge steel and includes 8 locking points. These points include 5 – 1 ½” live action bolts as well as three dead bolts for added protection. The bolts cover all four sides of the safe’s door, which is an important feature that I always recommend. In order to get my actual recommendation, I generally always require a minimum of a 12-gauge steel body so the Elite does fall short. However, I can’t expect this affordable of a safe to have all everything.

The Elite series comes with your choice of a mechanical lock or a quicker easier access electronic keypad lock. I strongly suggest going with the electronic option. In the event of an emergency, you won’t want to rely on your shaky hands to deal with a combination lock. The interior of the safe is lined with gray carpet and comes with several adjustable shelves and gun barrel holders. Depending on the size you choose, it also comes with a door panel mounted storage system that allows storage for handguns, accessories and clips. If you’re sold on the Elite, I would highly suggest an LED lighting kit and a dehumidifier.

The Elite series, like all other fire resistant safes from Stack-On, come with a lifetime warranty that covers your safe from damage due to break-ins, break-in attempts and fire damage. Also included is a 5-year warranty that covers manufacturers defects.

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Stack-On Gun Cabinets

The self-titled series from Stack-On is the most affordable solution for gun security. Although the self-titled series is not fire resistant, it does offer some descent security features as well as a way to keep your entire gun collection in one spot and out of reach from the kiddos. The Stack-On Series comes in 4 different sizes ranging from a small 8-long gun safe all the way up to a mid-sized 36 long-gun safe. Like I said, this one of Stack-On’s most affordable models so there is no reason not to jump up to the 36 long-gun model to allow for expansion.

Like I stated earlier, this series is not fire resistant so I would highly recommend against storing high priced valuables and anything with sentimental value.

The safe’s body is made from 13-gauge steel and includes 5 – 1” diameter locking bolts that help prevent your safe from easily being pried open. The door is also made from solid steel and includes recessed hinges for additional security. This series also a hardened steel plate that adds additional security protection against lock drilling. These features have earned the self-titled series from Stack-On the California DOJ safety device rating.

There are really no customizable options for the Stack-On series besides the lock option and exterior color. The color of the safe is determined on which lock choice you choose, the electronic lock comes in a matte black painted finish and chrome accents while the mechanical lock version comes in a matte hunter green finish with gold hardware. Each model comes with a carpeted gray interior with adjustable shelving and barrel rests.

Since this series is not a fire rated series, it does not come with a lifetime warranty, unfortunately. However, it does include a 3-year limited warranty that covers your safe from manufacturers defects.

Even though this safe comes in below my recommendation on pretty much every security feature, I still believe that it is very important to keep firearms out of reach from children so this should do the trick. If priority is keeping your firearms and valuables safe out of reach from burglars and fires, you should seriously consider a higher security safe like the Total Defense model I reviewed earlier.

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Bottom Line

Stack-On has dominated the budget friendly safe market by producing a variety of different safe series that include some great features at an affordable price. They’ve definitely figured out a great balance between price and features that tend to beat most of the competition. But the Stack-On brand is definitely not for everyone. Like I said, their safes are designed with affordability in mind so you will definitely see a lack of security features and fire protection in most of their series. If you are a serious collector and have some high priced valuables that you are looking to keep secure, I would consider checking out some of the other brands like Mesa, Liberty and Browning.

Unfortunately like most any other product, the best model and series is completely

Subjective. I cannot simply tell you which series and model best fits you or which one you should buy. That is a decision that needs to be left completely up to you. If you haven’t yet already, make sure you check out my article, “what to look for in a gun safe” to help narrow down exactly what you need in a safe.

One of the most popular and best selling series from Stack-On is their Total Defense

Series. The combination of security features and affordability makes this series nearly unparalleled. It also provides a variety of different sizes and capacities to choose from. The Total Defense series is a great place to start if you’re looking to purchase a safe with the Stack-On name.

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