As a gun owner with two small children in my house, I'm constantly re-evaluating my firearm storage options. While I need rapid access to my firearms, I also need to ensure that my kids, their friends, or any other person in my home (invited or otherwise) cannot lay their hands on my guns.
Balancing firearm security and firearm access has, for many years, been a real issue. However, modern gun vaults built from the most rugged materials and incorporating the latest high-tech features have revolutionized gun storage. One of the leading manufacturers in the smart safe era is Vaultek, and their new PRO VTi model ranks among the simplest and most secure safes currently available.
The PRO VTi boasts five separate access points via key, smart key, digital keypad, biometric, and smart phone, to make it simple for you to get to your guns. The safe is powered by a single rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which can be charged using the micro USB cord that is included. The PRO VTi safe can stay plugged in continuously, but a two-and-a-half-hour charge maintains battery life for months under normal use.
Easy to Program
Programming the safe is simple. Just hold down the number "1" and the "program" button on the inside of the safe to change the digital code. Press "2" and the "program" button to add a fingerprint for biometric access, and press "5" and the "program" button to pair the vault to the smart key so you can access the safe in the same manner you unlock your vehicle.
The digital keypad is well-lit and easy to see, even in total darkness, and the center fingerprint scanner works effectively once it is programmed. It works more effectively, in fact, than the fingerprint scanner on my cell phone. Additionally, your finger does not need to be oriented the same direction for programming and access. In other words, you can program the Vaultek's biometric sensor with your finger perpendicular to the front of the lid and, if needed, you can rotate your hand 90 degrees and still open the safe. That's particularly important when you program the safe from a different position then you will be in when accessing it, such as when lying in bed.
The app offers even more control for the Vaultek PRO VTi. After entering the security code of your selection, you can pair the safe with your smart phone and you can open the safe with a swipe of your finger. The app also allows you to control safe settings such as adjusting the brightness of the interior light.
Robust & Accessible
All of that cutting-edge technology is convenient, but a safe is only effective if it is secure. The PRO VTi is constructed of 12-gauge steel and includes pre-drilled holes in the bottom of the unit along with heavy-duty screws that allow you to permanently attach the safe to a table top or inside a drawer.
Each safe comes with a four-foot locking cable for additional security. The cable lock features a quick-detach design that allows you to rapidly release the safe from the cable if required. The interior-mount hinges prevent tampering and the dual anti-impact latches hold the lid firmly in place. It can withstand heavy impacts. Speaking of impacts, each Vaultek comes with a built-in accelerometer (Pro Series Only) that detects impacts and emits a warning alarm from the unit.
Aside from its tech touches and robust design, the Vaultek PRO VTi is also very convenient. Heavy-duty springs open the lid quickly and quietly, and the adjustable interior LED light makes it easy to see the interior of the safe in total darkness. With an interior length of almost 14 inches and a width of about 6½ inches (including the space occupied by the interior latches), there's plenty of room for two guns.
Room to Spare
I placed a Government-sized 1911 and a Glock 17 in the safe and an additional magazine for each and found no shortage of storage space. The dense, closed-cell interior foam blocks moisture and won't absorb oils and solvents. You can rest assured that your firearm is protected. The overall weight of the unit (without a firearm) is 16 pounds. Suggested retail price is $290 for the unit without a biometric sensor or $370 with the fingerprint pad.
I'm not particularly tech-savvy, but I had no problems following the plain-English directions in the manual. Setting up the safe is extraordinarily easy (you can't even screw up battery orientation since the unit automatically senses polarity).
The smooth exterior is tough and withstands abuse. I couldn't get a screwdriver or knife blade wedged between the lid and the body of the safe. Everything about the PRO VTi feels robust and well-built, from the snappy action of the lid to the well-fitted interior foam and brightly-lit keys.
The Vaultek app is intuitive and works well. The only issue that I had was that I didn't realize the program button had a rubber cover that must be moved out of the way before you can customize access. I do wish that the charging port was on the rear of the unit instead of on the side, since that would allow me to keep the unit inside the drawer while charging. Other than those minor details, there were no issues whatsoever. The Vaultek lived up to its promise of quick access and maximum security.
The Vaultek PRO VTi offers me peace of mind for securing my guns and for keeping out of the hands of interested individuals. Technology has made gun ownership more convenient and more secure, but a gun safe is only worthwhile if it is tough enough to stand up against someone trying to gain access. With its long list of features, the PRO VTi is helping set a higher standard for personal security. It's an evolutionary — and revolutionary — step forward in smart safe design.