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Tested: Hornady's Vehicle RAPiD Safe

Tested: Hornady's Vehicle RAPiD Safe

The RAPiD Vehicle Safe, Hornady’s latest innovation to conveniently secure one’s personal firearm, stands far apart from its peers with a unique mounting system designed specifically for (the majority) of vehicles.

What It’s Made Of

The mounting system works off of a large U-shaped frame with a neoprene air bladder, designed to slide between the console and seat while deflated on either the passenger or driver’s side of the vehicle (dealer’s choice). Once installed in the desired position, the air bladder has a hand pump on it (similar to those on blood pressure machines), which is used to inflate the air bladder until tight for a firm and secure fit.

The safe itself is of sturdy construction, exceeding ASTM International safety standards for child and pry resistance, lock strength, drop/pick/saw tests, and high attack resistance. To this end, the exterior is made of 14-gauge steel, with a pair of internal hardened locking lugs. Hornady also includes a heavy-duty cable more than long enough to wrap soundly around either seat frame, thereby firmly fastening the safe to the vehicle.

How It Works

Accessing one’s firearm inside the RAPiD is quick, easy and dependable, thanks to the trifecta of RFiD, number pad or barrel-key opening options.

For RFiD access, by far the quickest of the three, the safe comes with an RFiD wristband one can wear that opens the safe with a quick touch. Along with this come four other RFiD tags that can be programmed to open the safe, and easily hang off one’s keychain, in case the wristband is considered too much of a fashion faux pas.

Additionally, the number pad can be programmed with a 4- to 6-digit entry code, for those who prefer a more tactile method of safe opening. Finally, should all four AAA batteries die, and the 12-volt car adaptor somehow go out of commission, one’s firearm is still accessible via the barrel key lock.

The features don’t stop on the outside though. Once the safe springs open (and I mean that quite literally; it’s called rapid for a reason) the firearm is presented for draw via an internal “holster” of sorts, which directly cants the gun between the door and the back for smooth, seamless access. 

Road Test

So how did this safe perform in day-to-day use? Before we tackle that, let’s get a few things out of the way.

First off, this safe will not work in a vehicle with a bench seat. Though that’s probably pretty obvious from the description, I did try to finagle a way...and can confirm no dice on that front. More importantly however, based off my experiences, if you have a truck with a folding seat/center console, the lack of a full center console for the safe to rest against makes it a little insecure. If you belong to the rest of the population however, who drive more conventional vehicles, this is the safe for you.

I was initially a tad skeptical of the design. While the air bladder does secure the apparatus firmly between the seat and the console, the safe end seems like it would bend back and forth more easily than one would hope. I elected to loop the security cable (which is attached directly to the safe) as tautly as possible around the seat frame, but even still, a fair amount of movement was possible when I moved the safe back and forth with my hand.

The safe installed, I fired up the Jeep and went for a spin, fully prepared for the safe to flap around like a duck with a busted wing. I am quite happy to report that I have never been more wrong! Try as I might to make it do so, the safe didn’t budge at all. Under normal driving, hard acceleration, and panic-stopping, the safe may as well have been harnessed in. Hard cornering was the only maneuver that produced even the slightest wiggle, but even then, it was barely a wiggle.

Accessing one’s firearm while driving was similarly impressive, and could be accomplished one-handed with either the keypad or the RFiD. Personally, I like it mounted on the passenger side to save me room in the cockpit. Though that position actually cants the gun away from you when it opens, grabbing the firearm is still no problem.

Conclusions

Overall, I am extremely satisfied with the RAPiD Vehicle Safe, and would recommend it to anyone looking for an affordable, quality vehicle safe. I do have a wish list for future iterations of this product. To start, while my fears that the safe would bounce around when underway have proven completely unfounded, I would still like to see some sort of attachment on the front of the safe to prevent it from being bent away from the console by hand (which is still relatively easy to do).

The second thing I take slight issue with is the way the RFiD opens the safe. As it stands right now, one must first touch the top of the safe so it lights up, before scanning the RFiD across will allow the safe to spring open. To be fair, I do fully understand why this is done: Having it on and ready to accept an RFiD unlock at all times would be a constant drain on the batteries.

Finally, as is quite obvious, the RAPiD Vehicle safe mounts squarely in plain sight. Having a safe in full view has always worried me a bit, as it assures a potential robber that there is a higher chance of finding valuables. Thus I would suggest throwing a coat or some other such innocuous covering over it whenever leaving one’s vehicle. Though I have every confidence in the RAPiD’s ability to stand up to intense punishment, I am slightly less confident in glass windows, and whatever else may by lying around that the robber decides to take when he angrily realizes my safe isn’t going anywhere.

The Hornady RAPiD Vehice Safe can be yours today for only $179.99 from Cabelas. Though right now on back order, they are estimated to begin shipping again in 4-5 weeks. Order yours today here

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