If you’ve ever looked for biometric quick-access gun safe, you’ll know there are many options out there. Each has it’s own pros and cons. I currently use a SentrySafe Quick Access Biometric Pistol Safe QAP1BE as a drawer safe and wanted to test out some more options. I obtained the WINCENT Biometric Gun Safe for Pistols V2.0 to test out and compare.
The WINCENT Biometric Gun Safe for Pistols V2.0 is a fairly large quick access biometric safe. There are 3 methods to get in to the safe – biometric via the fingerprint scanner, number code via the keypad, and keyed lock using the override key. This is the standard for biometric quick access type safes. One nice feature that the WINCENT safe has is an emergency USB-C port. If your safe runs out of battery (It takes 4x AAA batteries, which are included), you can plug in a USB-C cable connected to a battery pack or charger to gain access without having to find the override key. The safe offers the standard pre-drilled holes to secure the safe to a drawer or another location, as well as a security cable. This actually comes in quite handy if you were to use the safe for travel. The WINCENT Safe is both TSA Approved (it’s a hard-sided locked container), and a CA DOJ-approved firearm safety device.
The WINCENT Safe is larger than the SentrySafe by a good amount, yet it’s slightly lighter.
WINCENT Safe Dimensions:
Exterior Dimensions: 13″ Wide x 10.2″ Deep x 3.2″ High
Interior Dimensions: 12.5″ Wide x 6.9″ Deep x 2.6″ High
Weight: 9.6 lbs (weighed on scale)
SentrySafe QAP1BE Dimensions:
Exterior Dimensions: 12.1″ Wide x 9.9″ Deep x 3.2″ High
Interior Dimensions: 9.7″ Wide x 6.7″ Deep x 2.2″ High
Weight: 11.9 lbs
The size difference is more noticeable when you place pistols inside. The WINCENT can hold 2 full sized pistols with some room to spare. The SentrySafe can only hold a Full Sized pistol and a subcompact – and it’s a tight fit.
The differences become more apparent when you look at the safes when they are open. The SentrySafe has a single latch while the WINCENT has 2 latches – this makes it more secure and less easy to open by brute force. The hinge is also internal on the top edge on the WINCENT, while the SentrySafe has a gas piston inside, which takes up additional space. The SentrySafe gas piston has also been a known issue – they have been known to go bad (however SentrySafe will send a replacement unit if this happens – mine has been replaced with the upgraded version). The WINCENT safe opens to a full 90 degrees, but takes a second to open while it swings up. The gas piston on the SentrySafe opens slightly faster, however the door does not open a full 90 degrees. Another nice feature of the WINCENT safe is that it has an internal LED light which provides some illumination of the contents.
Comparing the methods of accessing the safes – the WINCENT safe is extremely quick and easy to access. You simply place your finger on the scanner, or enter the code on the 5-number keypad, and the safe will open. The SentrySafe is slightly more difficult. The fingerprint scanner is the swipe type – you have to move your finger down the swipe reader vs simply placing it on the square. It’s also a 4-button combo pad – which does not have numbers, so you need to remember the pattern. The biggest issue I have with the SentrySafe is that the safe goes to “sleep” – you must actually press one of the buttons or swipe your finger on the biometric reader for the safe to “wake up” then accept a finger swipe or the button code. This can take a little more time if you’re not used to fumbling around for it in the dark. Both safes have a backlit fingerprint reader and buttons that light up after a fingerprint scan or button push.
Unfortunately, I found a slight drawback to the WINCENT safe – requires a good amount of room around it to be able to open. In my drawer, the SentrySafe is nestled up right against the corner and is touching the sides. The design of the door has it opening without issues. With the WINCENT safe – the design requires about half an inch of space on each side of the safe, or it will not open fully. The door rubs against the side of the drawer and the hinge needs space to open. The override key location is also on the front of the unit, and the USB-C Emergency port is on the right side. The override key is a straight-key design which will require some clearance on the front in order to access it if necessary.
These drawbacks are not a show-stopper. The WINCENT Safe is meant for general access while the SentrySafe is designed to be used as a drawer safe. I actually prefer the WINCENT Safe’s security and capacity. I will be using the WINCENT safe for general access around the house as this has the capacity and ease of access that I prefer. The ease of use of the fingerprint scanner and keypad is another reason to keep it around in the house and for travel.
The WINCENT Biometric Gun Safe can be purchased directly from WINCENT.