Firearms security is your responsibility, and you should do everything you can to keep your guns out of the wrong hands. Whenever your firearm is not under your immediate control, it should be securely stored and out of sight.
There are times when we must temporarily store our gun in our car or truck. Locking the vehicle doors does not constitute secure storage, nor does locking a gun in the glove box or center console. A secure storage device is essential.
HORNADY RAPiD VEHICLE SAFE
Secure storage and quick access while on the go need not be mutually exclusive. The Hornady® RAPiD® Vehicle Safe is an excellent example. A new addition to Hornady’s growing line of security products, it has a number of innovative features that set it apart from the competition.
The RAPiD Vehicle Safe is designed to be mounted vertically near the center console or beween the seats. It allows you to safely secure most duty-size (or smaller) handguns while providing immediate touch-free access to the gun using a patented Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system. Hornady refers to it as RFID Touch Free Access Technology™. It’s employed in the entire RAPiD Safe line.
UNIVERSAL MOUNTING SYSTEM
Thanks to a unique patent-pending universal mounting system, the RAPiD Vehicle Safe fits in almost any vehicle. It eliminates the need for bolts, other mounting hardware, or modifications to your vehicle. You can easily move the safe from one vehicle to another without using tools. The design is quite brilliant.
The mounting system has a large mounting plate with an inflatable air bladder that can be wedged between the seat and center console or between two seats in the vehicle. The mounting plate and air bladder may be rotated to allow the RAPiD Vehicle Safe to be mounted on the driver’s or passenger’s side of the vehicle. A neoprene fabric cover prevents any marking or damage to the vehicle.
The inflatable air bladder conforms to the vehicle’s interior. It allows the mounting plate to adjust to nearly any seat gap and provide a firm mounting location for the RAPiD Vehicle Safe. It secures the safe in a ready position without any modification to the vehicle. The air bladder is equipped with a rubber bulb pump like those on a manual blood-pressure cuff. Only a few squeezes of the bulb are needed to secure the safe.
Additional security is provided by a steel security cable included with the safe. It’s designed to be looped around a solid anchor point (typically the seat frame is the most convenient) to prevent unauthorized individuals easily removing the RAPiD Vehicle Safe. The cable has a plastic covering so it won’t mar your vehicle.
The exterior housing of the RAPiD Vehicle Safe is constructed of thick 14-gauge steel and is secured by two internal hardened locking lugs. Exterior dimensions are 12.0 x 6.4 x 2.2 inches. Interior dimensions are 7.5 x 5.6 x 1.7 inches. The safe’s attractive finish and sophisticated styling make it look great in any vehicle.
The RAPiD Vehicle Safe exceeds all ASTM International safety standards for child and pry resistance, lock strength, drop/pick/saw tests, and high-attack resistance. It’s designed to the same ASTM standards as all of Hornady’s other RAPiD Safe models.
The RAPiD Vehicle Safe is listed on the California Department of Justice (CA-DOJ) Roster of Approved Firearm Safety Devices, having passed all required safety and functionality tests set forth by the CA-DOJ.
RFID TOUCH-FREE ACCESS
Hornady RFID Touch Free Access Technology is a really cool feature. It allows RAPiD Safes to be unlocked through an RFID system that’s triggered by the use of RFID-enabled tags. RFID uses electromagnetic energy to identify tags.
Each RAPiD Safe RFID tag contains a uniquely coded digital memory chip that stores an access code that’s transmitted by a short burst of radio energy when activated by the RFID reader in the safe. The safe does not ship pre-programmed for the RFID tags. You need to program the safe to work with each of the individual tags.
To open the safe, simply hold the RFID tag within one inch of the illuminated RFID reader located in the center of the top panel. The lid of the safe is spring assisted and opens instantly. The handgun is held in a foam-lined metal sleeve on the inside of the lid and is actually presented to you when the safe opens. There’s no groping around for your gun.
The RAPiD Vehicle Safe includes three different RFID tag options: an RFID Adjustable Wristband, RFID “H” Key Fob, and two RFID Adhesive Decals. You can also purchase them separately from Hornady.
The RFID Adhesive Decals have a 3M® adhesive backing that adheres securely to almost any surface, including glass, metal, and plastic. According to Hornady, many users stick the decal on the back of their mobile phone or phone case.
The strap on the RFID Adjustable Wristband is heavy black rubber. The RFID chip is located next to the buckle for easy use. My personal preference is to wear the wristband on the wrist of my dominant shooting hand, allowing me to open the safe and reach for my gun in one motion.
It’s a fail-safe system. In addition to the RFID system, the RAPiD Vehicle Safe has keypad access and a manual barrel key lock that give you additional means of opening. Two barrel keys are included.
The keypad is located on the top panel of the RAPiD Vehicle Safe. The keys have audible tones that can be turned on or off using the “H” button, which is also on the top panel. The keys and “H” button are illuminated so they can be easily accessed in the dark.
The safe ships with a default key code that should be changed before you use the safe. You can program either a four- or six-digit key code for keypad access. The manual barrel lock is located on the side of the safe facing the rear and near the top, where it’s easily reached while seated.
Programming or resetting the RAPiD Vehicle Safe is simple to do and takes only seconds, but requires access to the red program button located inside the safe. This is another security feature. Complete instructions are included in the owner’s manual that comes with the safe, and are printed on the inside of the safe.
You can program more than one RAPiD Safe to work with an RFID tag. This allows you to use the same RFID tag(s) for all the RAPiD Safes you own. Up to five RFID codes and one key code can be programmed into the safe. The programmed codes won’t be lost if the safe is without power.
Power for the RAPiD Vehicle Safe is supplied by a 12-volt car adapter (included) or four AAA batteries (not included). For batteries, I recommend Energizer® Ultimate Lithium™ AAA batteries. They cost a little more but last up to five times longer than alkalines, are relatively unaffected by temperature extremes, and will not leak.
When the safe is unplugged and operating on battery power, you must press any button on the keypad on the top panel to activate the RFID reader. This causes the system to go from battery-saving mode to ready status. Hornady recommends replacing the batteries every 12 months or if they become low or weak.
You can check the battery level by pressing any button on the keypad. The safe is equipped with a battery and latch status indicator light, located near the center of the keypad. A latch closure sensor illuminates the status light in the keypad when the lid is closed, and indicates whether the latch is fully closed.
The RAPiD Vehicle Safe comes with a complete owner’s manual that can also be downloaded as a PDF from the Hornady website. The manual contains numerous photos and gives a step-by-step guide to setup and use of the safe.
The Hornady RAPiD Vehicle Safe is a worthy addition to the RAPiD Safe line. It’s an outstanding product with many innovative features. It’s truly in a class of its own.
Manufacturer’s suggested retail price on the Hornady RAPiD Vehicle Safe is $226.51. Hornady warrants the RAPiD Safe in normal use and service to be free of defects in workmanship or materials for one year from the date of purchase.
Hornady is a strong supporter of Project ChildSafe®, a nonprofit organization committed to firearms safety and a program of the National Shooting Sports Association.
Eugene Nielsen’s background includes protective intelligence investigations and threat management, as well as red teaming security consulting. He currently owns and operates an investigative and security consulting firm and is licensed in both California and Arizona.