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Review: Hornady Rapid Safe Keypad Vault

Keeping your expensive firearms protected from unauthorized access is something we should all support, right? I mean, it just makes sense—you invest hundreds of dollars in a pistol, add in a red-dot sight and maybe some upgrades and you’re easily well into four figures when all is said and done. Why not make it harder for the bad guys to just walk off with your investment? Now, don’t get me wrong. Mandatory storage requirements are unconstitutional and open to abuse and should be opposed at every possible opportunity. Why, though, would you not want to protect what’s yours?

Especially when there are options like the excellent Hornady Rapid Safe Keypad vault out there for consideration. With the included RFID tag, watchband fob (more on this later), key code and physical key, there are many ways to quickly access your stored handgun(s). There’s room in the safe for two or three handguns depending on size, of course; you could probably get a dozen North American Arms mini-revolvers, eight or so Ruger LCPs and four or five SIG Sauer P365s in the safe. Suffice to say, there’s room for a compact handgun like a Glock G19, a micro 9mm double-stack pistol like a Springfield Armory Hellcat and a pocket gun like a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380. Just pulling those models totally at random, of course…

How does it work? It’s ingenious. Hornady has had its RFID system for a while, and the company keeps refining it to be more intuitive and easier to use. For a long time, RFID-enabled devices would come with a decal or two and a wristband that could be programmed to open the safe by simple proximity. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve never used the wristband. With the decals, I had one on the protective case for my smartphone—until it fell off at some point. Fortunately, it was in the console of my SUV, but it was a reminder that the best of adhesives will eventually fail. I remedied it by putting the decal inside my nylon wallet. This has the added advantage of giving me another data point that, no, I didn’t forget my wallet at home (since I have my CCW pistol on me, I must have opened the safe with the fob in the wallet). But, I digress.

The latest iteration of RFID devices, though, includes an absolutely brilliant device: a small rubber tag that goes over your watch’s wristband. I’ve had a smartwatch for years, starting with a FitBit, then progressing to a series of Garmin watches, the latest being the Tactix 7 Amoled which has a superior fitness tracker, GPS for navigation and even has a ballistic app! The watch is sufficiently large so that the Hornady fob blends right in, and the watch is literally on my body 24/7—I always have a means to access the Rapid Safe literally on my person. 

Programming the fob (and decals) is ridiculously easy: Press a button on the inside of the safe, then touch the fob/decal to the RFID reader on the outside of the safe. Twin beeps confirm that the fob/decal has been accepted, and then it’s good to go. Up to five separate devices can be programmed for a safe, and fobs/decals can be used for multiple RFID-enabled Hornady devices. You can use the same fob on your wristwatch band to open an under-the-bed safe, a safe in the closet and a keypad vault secured under the desk in your study. Allegedly.

Which brings us to one thing of which to be aware with the Keypad vault—there is no external power supply, so you’re relying on battery power to make use of the RFID-enabled fobs and such. Should you forget to change the batteries and lose power, you’ll need to find one of the two included barrel keys to open the safe manually. This is not an issue if you’ve been smart and put the keys in a safe place—and you remember where that safe place is… If you have a safe with a manual locking mechanism, that might be the best place to store all keys. Just don’t forget the combination to that safe!

So, circling back to the Hornady Rapid Safe Keypad vault in specific, it’s constructed of 16-gauge steel designed to thwart prying attempts. Sizewise, the interior dimensions are 10.6 inches long, 7.8 inches wide and 3.3 inches deep, while the exterior dimensions are 13.1 inches long by 1 inches wide by 3.9 inches deep. It weighs 15 pounds and contains pre-drilled holes for permanent mounting, which can be to a wall, inside a drawer or any other place where four screws can be securely attached. Power for the RFID reader, keypad and interior light comes from four AA batteries (not included).  

If you’ve been looking for a secure method of storing your EDC handguns, it’s hard to imagine something simpler. There’s a number of different ways to access the safe, it can be mounted pretty much anywhere you’ve got about 15X15 inches of flat space and clearance for the top to open. All of this for an MSRP of $151.99? To get more information on the Rapid Safe Keypad vault, see other security products from Hornady or to order, visit

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