In today’s market, gun safes are as numbered and as varied as the companies who build and distribute them. Personally, I’m always in the market for a portable gun safe that will provide me with easy access to my firearm while still considering the security of the safe and the likelihood that it will work when I need it to (my last one did not, but more on that in a bit).
There are probably a dozen different types of these portable gun safes; some of which include: biometric safes that cost hundreds, safes with combination locks and push-button electronic safes. With all of the available options, some customers quickly feel overwhelmed and unable to choose which safe is best for them. Even once you choose the type of safe you want (let’s say it’s an electronic push button), you still must consider the specific size you need…a lesson I recently learned the expensive way.
I was on the personal journey to buy a new portable safe about two months ago. My go-to portable gun safe that I’d used for the bulk of the last decade decided it would crap out on me; in that two of the four passcode numbers suddenly failed to respond to my presses. I hadn’t used the physical key to the safe in years and had lost it, so the weapon I had housed inside my safe was totally inaccessible for a significant period of time.
As the brilliant human being I am, I quickly realized (it took about a month) that it was no good for me to have a gun safe that I couldn’t access at all; let alone access quickly.
So, I did a bit of research and decided on a specific brand and model and I purchased it. The new safe I purchased had the exact features I was looking for and I thought it was sized appropriately for the location I wanted it to go. I landed on a digital push-button safe whose interior illuminates when opened. If you ignore the following hiccup, it was the perfect model for my needs.
After setting up my new safe, I attempted to secure it under the seat in my vehicle and quickly realized I had a problem. It didn’t fit under my seat…I don’t mean it wasn’t going to hide all the way under my seat; I mean it wouldn’t go under my seat at all. Shoot. There goes $150 for nothing.
Beyond the obvious size and shape considerations of various portable safes, there are also other things to think about before purchase like where exactly do you plan to house the safe, how quickly do you need to access the contents of the safe and which type of locking/unlocking method you prefer based on your specific needs.
That is in part why I thought it so perfect that just a couple days ago, a company reached out to me and asked me to test a portable safe which was a similar style to the one I had just purchased. I couldn’t pass up the chance to help you all not make the same mistake I just had so I agreed to test it out for them.
A company named Wincent sent me one of their many versions of portable gun safes and I have to admit, my first opinion of it once getting my hands on it is that it definitely felt like a quality product.
Upon opening the outer shipping box, I found a sturdy, well-padded box within. I opened that box to find a closed safe surrounded entirely by sturdy packing materials. If you’ve ever read my reviews, you know that the way a company packages their products usually coincides with my ultimate opinion of the product. An old chef saying is, “The diner eats first with their eyes so make sure the food is appealing from the first moment they see the dish.” I definitely have the same opinion of product packaging. Nobody I know wants to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on an item only to find their prized purchase loosely rattling around in the box it arrived in, or conversely, shoved into the box looking like 20 pounds of gear packed into a 10-pound box. If the first impression of a product matters to you, Wincent surely nailed their packaging.
Product Description (ELITE RSzero)
The specific safe Wincent provided me to test is the ELITE RSzero Portable Gun Safe. The safe is matte black and made of a precision-formed 18-gauge rugged steel enclosure. On the top portion of the safe, there are four numeric buttons that are backlit with a blue LED. The buttons are large enough to easily press while wearing gloves and are spaced plenty wide for users who have large hands. Additionally, each number (1-4) is inset into the metal and users can easily and discernibly place their fingers in the appropriate groove if they need to unlock the safe without looking.
To my delight, this safe was easily the simplest one I’ve programmed to date. The instructions provided were crystal clear and at no point did I ever get feedback from the safe that something failed during the programming process. Each of the included RFID devices programmed in about a second (literally a second) and they all were immediately functional afterwards with no error messages.
The safe also opens in a fairly unique fashion. Once the lock is disengaged – whether by passcode or by RFID chip – the safe makes a James Bond-esque pneumatic sound and the lid releases and starts to open. The moment the lid of the safe opens, the internal LED light illuminates to assist with the quick retrieval of the items within. When you’ve retrieved the items inside, simply press the lid down to close it and re-secure your items. The lid closes firmly, which illicits the feeling that your items are well-protected within. The lid isn’t at all flimsy or cheap and the action of the lid is stiff but smooth. When fully closed, it provides a satisfying click alerting users it is indeed closed.
The safe is powered by a rechargeable lithium battery that WINCENT claims maintains its power for more than 6 months between charges. To charge the RSzero, you simply plug the included USB-C charging cord into the front of the safe and it immediately begins accepting charge. The instructions ask users to charge the safe prior to use and I found it to be roughly 75% charged from the factory. After only a handful of minutes on the charger, the safe was charged and ready to use.
In order to ensure the items within the safe stay unharmed, the interior of the safe is lined with a layer of memory foam. Additionally, the safe can hold a firearm up to 8.5” in overall length, which for the sake of reference is slightly larger than a full-size Sig Sauer P226 (which measures 8 inches).
What’s Included in the Box
What may be one of the highlights of the Wincent ELITE RSzero is all of the accessories that come included. Those are:
2 Keychain RFID Fobs
2 Sticker RFID Fobs
USB Charging Cable
Locking and Unlocking the ELITE RSzero
The RFID devices included with the safe allow it to be quickly opened with just a single tap, which greatly increases the speed of access. According to the Wincent website, “This pistol safe uses the high frequency IC chip sensor RFID card with encryption technology that cannot be decrypted…which makes it much safer than other brands’ lockbox with ordinary RFID function on the market.”
The coolest part of all this for me is the numerous options available to quickly unlock the safe. I know other safes tout RFID chips as well, but the inclusion of these was a pleasant surprise for me. I can’t speak to whether or not WINCENT’s RFID encryption is significantly better than its competitors (as they state), but I can certainly say that the RFID devices work quickly and reliably each time I’ve tried them.
As you probably saw in the photo above, two of the RFID chips come in the form of keychain attachments, two of them come as stickers (I placed one on my phone case as an example) and one of them comes in the form of a wristband (think Fitbit). I tried every single RFID device and without fail each of them unlocked the case on the first try. I can’t speak to how the RFID devices will work a year or two from now, but I can say that right now they certainly perform as advertised.
With all of the features and functions listed, one may think that the safe is pushing the $200 mark, but in reality it is currently on sale at the WINCENT website for only $79; marked down from its normal price of $99.
In all, the WINCENT RSzero Portable Gun Safe is a fantastic safe, regardless of the price point. The features, the simple set up and the ease of use are its highlights and I’ll say this is definitely a safe that I’ll use in my personal collection for years to come.