January’s Gun Safe Fail – P20 Security Safe ~ VIDEO

By Dave Goetzinger of Handgun Safe Research
In this ongoing series we highlight the dangers of so call Lock Boxes that may be sold for use a gun storage devices.

January's Gun Safe Fail - P20 Security Safe
January’s Gun Safe Fail – P20 Security Safe
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

United States -(AmmoLand.com)- Meet the Bighorn Safe Company’s P20 Security Safe. Bighorn Safe Co., for those who don’t know, is a subsidiary of Rhino Metals, Inc., headquartered in Caldwell, Idaho.

The P20 Security Safe is a new product imported from China. The safe is not currently approved by California’s DOJ for use as a firearms safety device. Bighorn is cautious about marketing this product, and avoids making grand claims about the security of the device.

On the Rhino Metals website, this device is referred to as a lockbox, though it is not pictured with a handgun inside it. The box it comes packaged in has close-up photos of the product, also without a handgun pictured inside it. The box says only that it has a “reinforced door,” an “electronic lock,” a “backlit keypad,” and that it offers “quick & quiet entry” while featuring a “low profile design.

Bighorn may not be calling it a handgun safe, but backlit keypads and rapid, quiet entry are precisely the characteristics people look for in handgun safes.

The interior storage capacity of the P20 Security Safe comes to roughly 6 ½ X 9 ½ inches with about 2 ½ inches of depth to the box. That’s enough room for a compact semi-auto and a couple of magazines, or maybe a beefy snub-nose with a couple of speed loaders, but not much else. Whatever else the safe is designed to hold, it isn’t made for storing valuables like expensive cameras. It doesn’t have the room.

Unfortunately, it also doesn’t offer much security. As with most Chinese-made knockoffs, this safe was thrown together from copied design components without any attention to security. The cover for the bypass lock snaps into two holes in the housing that contains the locking mechanism. One hole allows direct access to the mechanism’s release, and a paperclip will open the door.

I can understand Rhino Metals, Inc. and Bighorn Safe Co. wanting to add to their product line. But they would have benefitted from having a security expert evaluate this product before importing it.

Bighorn Safe Co., P-20 Security Safe (This product has been recalled.) from Handgun Safe Research on Vimeo.

I sincerely hope they bring a security expert into the process before adding more imports to their product line.

About Dave Goetzinger

I began while writing a piece of investigative journalism titled “Safe Cracking Is Too Easy,” published in the September 2015, issue of American Shooting Journal. The piece looked at defectively designed handgun safes, and was first posted online at ASJ on July 21, 2015, under the title “It’s Too Easy To Crack Your Gun Safe.”

About Handgun Safe Research

This site exposes the design defects and security vulnerabilities of popular handgun safes. Visit : www.handgunsaferesearch.com


UPDATE: Rhino Metal’s Bighorn Safe Issues Recall : March 30, 2016

From Rhino Metals:

Dear Bighorn Safe Owner:

As part of our ongoing quality control testing, Rhino Metals, Inc. has determined that the Bighorn Model P-20 security safe may open without use of a combination under certain conditions. This could allow unauthorized access to a handgun, if stored in the safe, which would have the potential for serious injury. Although there have been no reported incidents to date, Rhino Metals is committed to customer satisfaction and safety and is voluntarily recalling and offering full refunds for these Bighorn Model P-20 security safes.

These safes are gray and black in color (with a blue Bighorn logo and 4-button keypad on the top), measure approximately 3.25” H x 12” W x 10.5” D, weigh about 15 pounds, and were sold between March 2015 and March 2016.

If you own a Bighorn Model P-20 security safe, please immediately stop storing any valuables or firearms in the safe and contact Rhino Metals at 800-701-9128 ext. 5844, M-F, 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Mountain Time or email [email protected] for more information and instructions on how to return your safe for a full refund.

Bighorn P20 Recall

Please pass this letter on to any person to whom the safe may have been sold or given. We appreciate your business and thank you for supporting the Bighorn safe brand.

Rhino Metals, Inc.


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If you travel, you will notice that many hotel chains have added a curtesy safe in rooms. However, many of those safes can be defeated with a paperclip after popping off the plastic cap/brand. A maid has plenty of time to defeat the lock and rip you off…. and the hotel, which posts a disclaimer is not responsible for what happens if you use the safe.

Dave Goetzinger

5WarVeteran, The reason I’m using video is precisely because of my lack of “credibility.” I’m an aspiring investigative journalist, who stumbled upon a story that is complex and generally swept under the rug. I am no security expert, or locksmith, or engineer. In truth, all that is required to do the testing I’ve been doing is some mechanical attitude and creativity. A few individuals online might insist that they would never have figured out how to access one of these devices on their own, but that is no indication of my expertise in security, only an indication they lack a… Read more »


Torsion spring on the hinge will be more effective, save space and cost, gas strut is unnecessary.
I’m no security professional or expert.

But I did go to the range today.


I appreciate this because it identifies one I would never buy. However it also shows criminals and children how to circumvent the lock.. Which is not so good.
I suggest you use this already established video to prove your credibility and from now on only state without the actual activity that ones that are “fails” should not be bought.