This Speedvault SVB500 Review gives an accurate explanation of the features of this model.
If you are looking for a handgun safe that can be mounted anywhere in your home to keep your gun securely stored but accessible in an emergency then read on and get informed. In this review I will provide exact dimensions and explanations of the features of this biometric gunsafe.
There are also many questions that I see customers commonly asking that are answered here too, this is to save you time and to inform you on all the problems and all the solutions that people have had with this safe so you can make the best buying decision that is right for you.
SVB500 Features Explained
Manufactured from 18 gauge steel
The thickness of the steel is not designed to stop a determined thief and can be pried open with a crowbar within 30 minutes. This safe is designed for storage from children and to provide quick access to your handgun when you need it.
If you are worried about scratching your gun this interior safe drawer is made from a protective foam lining that will enable you to easily slot in and remove your handgun with ease.
Gravity Drop Door
No longer relying on springs to open the door means that there are less moving parts which reduce the chance of a possible malfunction with the opening mechanism. You have to make sure you store the safe in a vertical position with enough room to make sure the drawer can drop open.
Ready to Grab Handgun Storage
Due to how the drawer is designed your handgun is presented to you in an ergonomic easy to grab position allowing you to have an extremely short time between scanning your fingerprint and being able to shoot.
Biometric Fingerprint Storage – 120 possible scans
A really key feature is the number of fingerprints that can be stored. Often fingerprint recognition can be an issue for biometric gun safes and so the more different scans of your fingers you can store the better. The safe initially needs two admin fingerprints and then can be locked up properly, you could use two of different fingers or one finger for you and one of another person that will use the safe.
It is important to record your fingerprint from multiple angles and at varying pressures and to practice using the scanner, all these actions will increase the percentage of fingerprint recognition by the biometrics.
This safe comes with a mounting plate and some screws. The screws are typically hardware store quality woodscrews so if you want to mount the safe onto masonry then you will need to buy additional screws from a hardware store.
Backup Emergency Keys
Two keys are provided in case of emergency and safe failure, such as the battery running out. These keys should not be stored inside the safe and be careful not to shut the keys inside the safe otherwise you will have to call the manufacturer if you cannot open it, or in the worst case scenario have to break into your own safe.
It runs on a standard 9 Volt battery that does not come in the box so will need purchasing separately. Battery life has been reported to be up to 3 months, based on the fact it only drains power when operating, the battery should last a sufficient time before needing to be replaced. One of the most common fixes for problems is usually to change the battery. The safe does have both an LED and audio low battery warning system so you should be well aware when the battery is failing.
There is an interior light which should aid in using the safe in the dark if during a break-in. It is not particularly bright so should not give your position away if you find yourself in that worst case scenario.
Dimensions of the SVB500
Interior Drawer Dimensions
2.25” x 5.75” x 8.5”
The gun safe is roughly the same size as a large encyclopedia so can be mounted in around the home in quite a few places. It is recommended to mount the SVB500 in either a wardrobe or underside of a desk where there is room for the door to open but in a place that is concealed from casual view. Concealment of safes from casual view is recommended as it decreases the chance an intruder will come across it.
The interior drawer is large enough to store .45 and 9mm handguns but if you are looking to stash a revolver or longer barrelled handgun then you should use an alternative model. We would recommend the Barska Biometric Safe for larger handguns.
Customer Frequently Asked Questions
What is the intended use of the SVB500?
The safe is designed for storage for one handgun, it is not intended for storage of valuables due to the thickness of the steel it is manufactured from. It is best used for quick and easy access to your firearm while keeping it stored away from children.
Is there room for extra pistol magazines?
Usually I would say no to that for normal .45 or 9mm pistols there probably is not going to be enough room left over to store an extra magazine. However it is recommended to try it out with your own pistol to see if you can fit another magazine down the side. Some customers have reported being able to fit an extra magazine but the common consensus is no.
What size pistols can it hold?
Due to the interior dimensions a pistol with overall length of 8 inches is going to be a particularly close fit. It is recommended if trying to store large handguns to purchase a larger safe such as the biometric safe from Barska which is a recommended model.
How long does the battery last for?
A standard 9 Volt battery will normally last for up for 3 months. But you get plenty of warning with both the LED and audio beeping warnings of low battery. This is obviously dependent on frequency of usage and the battery should be the first thing to be changed if encountering problems as it is an easy thing to eliminate as the cause.
Can the safe be muted?
The unit does have a mute mode but usually beeps when opening on the standard setting. Directions are available in the manual.
Is more than one person able to open the safe?
The definitive answer is yes, provided they have a saved fingerprint in the database. With space for up to 120 different fingerprints you can store fingerprints of multiple people if you so desire. We recommend only storing your own and possibly one other adult if using it to keep your gun safely stored in your home away from children.
How long does it take for the safe to open?
Assuming your fingerprint is recognized by the biometric scanner then it should pop open within 2 seconds. The benefit of biometrics is the increased speed with which you can access your firearm if in genuine need. Tips to increase recognition percentage are found in this review too.
Here is a video showing how quick and easy it is to open.
How long does it take to register a new fingerprint scan?
The whole process should take on average around 10-20 seconds depending on the number of repeats to successfully enter a fingerprint scan. There are very clear step by step instructions in the manual on how to enter new fingerprints scans successfully.
Can a registered user’s fingerprints be removed from the database?
Yes they can, unfortunately there is no way to individually remove fingerprint scans. The only way to remove scans from the database is to wipe the database, there are instructions for deleting the database in the manual.
Can you use it in a vehicle?
Due to the gravity drop door we would say no as there is usually nowhere to mount the safe with enough space underneath in a vehicle. Leaving the safe on show in a car is also not recommended as it is not designed as a thief deterrent but more for storage and quick access.
Problems Encountered By Customers
Below are a list of the problems and opinions on improvement that a select few customers have had with the SVB500 and our tips on solving those problems, as we want you to have all the facts when it comes to buying your new gunsafe.
Low success rate when reading fingerprints
Some customers have reported having a low success rate for opening the door using their fingerprint, there are a lot of actions that can be taken to minimize rejection rates and maximize your first try success rate.
- Register your fingerprints after you have mounted it so that your fingerprint is being wiped how you would use the scanner.
- Make multiple scans of your fingerprint at different pressures, pressure can affect how much detail of your fingerprint is stored. Having multiple copies at different pressures means that the scanner will be able to recognize your print better when you are in a hurry or panic to open it.
- Make scans from different angles. As no one can be 100 percent consistent to scan their finger flat and in the same direction every single time you should plan for the having scans of slightly different angles of your fingerprint. This is so the scanner can recognize you from different angles.
- Practice opening the safe using the biometric scanner. This is such a simple thing to aid in getting high success rates is to just practice swiping your finger. If you get into a routine of getting your handgun out and putting it away whenever you leave the house then you should be prepared in the event of an emergency to get your handgun out when it really matters.
Some customers think that the scanner should be larger, however because the safe can store up to 120 scans in the database you can just make multiple copies of your fingerprint from different angles. The scanner does not need a whole fingerprint it just needs you to match a copy of a scan it has.
With these tips you should be able to reach very high success rates, as high as 90% first try and 98% on second try.
The manual that Gunvault provide in the box does not feature step by step picture guides on installation which resulted in some customers getting confused and struggling with the install. There are instructions in text and some pictures which explain the installation, but to summarize the mounting bracket needs to be secured first and then the drawer needs to be taken out before securing the safe to the mounting bracket before replacing the drawer and finally closing. Most customers do report it takes between 20 minutes and 1 hour to fully install the unit to their liking.
It is not heavy duty enough
In reference to the fact the safe is made from 18 gauge steel and not something stronger such as a titanium alloy some customers thought the safe would be more attractive to them if it was more heavy duty. The safe is designed to be a light duty safe for storage and fast access of a handgun usually from a concealed location. If you would like a heavier duty safe for storing valuables I would recommend you look at the Barska safes reviewed on this site.
What do customers like?
There was a lot that customers did like about this product. The fact that for most customers the safe performed exactly how they imagined it would and how it was advertised is really good.
Ready to grip storage of gun
Customers liked that the angle of storage of the gun in the drawer meant that it was presented in a fashion that made it easy to grip and instantly be able to remove and fire. This gave customers piece of mind to react quickly and be ready to shoot if the need arose.
A lot of people thought the safe was very easy to use once it had been mounted in their desired position. This is exactly what the safe is designed to be, one or two swipes of your fingerprint and the safe will drop open using the simple gravity drop door which takes about 2 seconds to open. Loading fingerprints is explained in the user guide very clearly and the signals are very clear with flashing LEDs. Many people have considered buying multiple safes for different sides of the bed and for coupes have bought one for each of them.
Price and Customer Rating(4 / 5)
The price for a SVB500 from the Gunvault website is $334.99 (correct at time of writing) however amazon are selling this safe for over $120 cheaper which is a great saving if you think the safe is right for you.
The majority of customer reviews are 4 stars and above and the average rating is above 4 stars. This means most of the customers buying this safe are very happy with their purchase and you could be too.
To finish this Gunvault SVB500 review and question and answer post I would like to say that this safe is very good for carrying out the purpose it was designed for and makes great use of the biometric scanning technology. I hope that you have found all the information you were looking for to make an informed buying decision.
If you want a safe for storing your handgun in your home to protect your children and allow you to have quick access to it if you need to defend your property then this safe will fulfill your needs perfectly, be sure to use our tips and refer to our question and answer section if you purchase one.