Barska Biometric Safe Review

Barska Biometric Safe Review

Barska is a US company based out of LaVerne, California..  They are mostly in the optics business selling varied lines such as telescopes and high end rifle scopes.  Many hunters regard their riflescopes as the best out there.  They can be found in the top 100 US Sporting good retailers and distributors in 40 different countries.  The company uses the latest optical technology and cutting edge manufacturing.  In fact, if you go to their website (, they mostly show AR-15s, sniper rifle scopes, military binoculars and other exotic laser sites and such.

With all these products related to optics, interestingly, they also manufacture biometric safes.  Unlike many of their peers in the safe business, Barska as a company has only been around since 1994.  They got into the safe business because of their connection to both technology and guns.  While it be a small portion of the company’s revenue and focus, they use their intense drive for quality and leading technology in these safes.  Just like their optics, these Barska Biometric safes are regarded a top of the line product.

The Barska biometric safe line consists of four different models:

  • AX11224-The largest of the Barska pistol safes at just 16.5″ x 14.5″ x 7.75″ (outside dimensions).  It weighs about 31 pounds.  I find that this is the most popular biometric pistol safe that Amazon sells.  It retails for around $200.
  • AX11620-They call this one the compact safe.  It has outside dimensions of 12″ x 8″ x 7.75″.  This is a very shallow unit with an internal depth of only 5.75″.  This is comparable in height and width as the  Homak Pistol box.  It weighs 12 pounds, which is right in line with the Gunvault GVB1000, but only half as deep.
  • AX11556-This is the Barska drawer safe that is very similar to the Stack-On Handgun Safe with top mounted fingerprint reader.  Perfect for a nightstand or desk drawer.  It is similar in size to the other units at 15.5″ x 11.25″ x 5″, but not as deep.  The door has 2 tiny hydraulic lifts to help you with the 10 pound door.
  • AS11652-This is a biometric version of a more traditional gun safe/rifle safe.  It  stands 52″ tall, 8″ deep and 10″ wide.  It is meant to hold just 4 long guns, but also has a single removable shelf.  While this safe has a biometric lock, putting it in a small class of large gun safes with biometrics, it doesn’t appear to have the same features you would expect from a gun safe such as:  6 bolt door, heavier 1″ bolts, scope stand-offs, and additional shelves (for converting it into a safe for no long guns).  Fortunately, they price it more like a gun cabinet than a gun safe with the suggested retail price of just $299.  It is also not available at Amazon and must be ordered from Barska directly or limited resellers.

Every Barska safe comes with mounting hardware, pre-drilled holes and instructions to secure the safe to the floor or wall to prevent a thief from simply walking away with the unit.  The biometric versions will hold up to 30 different users, which is more than enough for even business applications.  They come with two back-up keys to open the safe in case of electronics failure or emergency (remember to always keep your key far away from your safe).  These small gun safes have a body thickness of 1/16″, which is comparable to many gun cabinets and small personal safes, not larger/heavier gun safes, but sport a door thickness of 3/16″ which is better than most handgun safes.

The Barska safes have some good and bad features built into the electronics.  One positive feature is that if you forget to re-lock the safe after 2 minutes, the safe will beep at you to remind you.  The bad feature is that there is no way to turn off the beeps when you are opening the safe (which you may want to do for security/stealth purposes when in your home).  The battery housing is actually inside the safe (many electronic safes have battery access on the exterior).  If the battery dies, you need to remove the Barska name plate and use your manual key to open it (the safe does alert you of low battery with a flashing light).

When using any biometric safe, here are some good tips:

  • Although you may never have 30 users or so accessing this safe, use those extra “user” accounts to scan your fingerprint in several different ways.  Push your finger in all the way, turn it to the left, turn it to the right and such.  Plus, scan your other hand.  In a panic situation you don’t want to have the biometric software deny opening simply because your finger is turned to the left too much.
  • Remember that most of these safes do not re-lock.  Most traditional safes have a lever or handle that you turn when you want to lock the door.  Some electronic safes will auto-lock the handle to the locked position after 15-30 seconds.  On a biometric safe, the reader opens the bolts and then they stay open until you push the button to re-lock it. Remember to push the button to re-secure the safe!
  • Because many of these safes have doors that pop open or unlatch, be careful to not pack too much stuff in the safe that you may interfere with the door operations.
  • Lastly, since there is a battery involved, it may be good measure to replace the batteries every year.  Then you never have to be concerned about having a power problem.  This is just like the fire department giving you the tip to replace the batteries in your smoke detectors yearly!
The Barska safes are very popular, whether you purchase the drawer safe or the larger gun safe.  If you’re thinking of buying a Barska Safe, I suggest that you CLICK HERE NOW before you get caught up in your busy life and the thought leaves your mind!

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