News center
We cater to custom orders with pleasure

Billconch Biometric Gun Safe review

May 15, 2023

REVIEW – Gun ownership comes with tremendous responsibilities. Along with a full understanding of applicable laws regarding firearms, storing your firearm so that it is accessible when needed yet inaccessible to those that shouldn't have access is a tough act to balance. Billconch makes a line of gun safes that provide rapid access to those that need it while also protecting the firearm from the hands of those that have no business being near a gun.

The Billconch model A-2 biometric gun safe is a secure safe designed to hold a full-sized handgun, two compact handguns, or other small valuables. Opening the safe requires the use of a six to twelve-digit passcode, an enrolled fingerprint, or a key.

The safe is well-made and solid. It s coated with a shiny and textured pebbled gray/black coating. It feels like you could throw this against a wall multiple times and the wall would lose the battle. The lid dominates the top of the safe, covering almost the entire area.

The remainder of the frame of the safe is a solid rolled piece of coated steel. The bottom has four non-slip rubber feet in the order. You can also see the two mounting holes that can be used to secure the safe to a solid surface.

Here is a look inside the safe. I removed the thin foam padding so you can see the two mounting holes.

The door hinges are beefy and solid.

The latch is securely attached to the lid and also carries some heft.

Inside, we see the battery compartment door on the left front as well as the single LED provided for interior illumination.

The three-button settings panel sits just under the lid and requires a pen or screwdriver tip to press the buttons.

The controls all sit on the front of the safe.

On the right, we see the key lock. This will always work, even with a dead battery. For obvious reasons, they recommend not storing the keys in the safe. The control panel is mounted right in the middle.

On the left is the 5-digit plus "OK", backlit keypad. The micro-USB charging port is to the right of the keypad. The fingerprint reader is on the far right. It is surrounded by a status LED ring. Blue indicates normal operation. Green is a success indicator for opening and storing data. Red is a failure indicator as well as a charge indicator.

The passcode and fingerprints are stored in non-volatile memory. This means that if the battery dies completely, the passcode and fingerprints will not be lost. Once power is restored, the safe will operate as it did before.

The setup starts with installing the 18650 battery in the battery compartment, closing the compartment with the cover, and then attaching the cover with the included screw. Next up was plugging in the micro-USB cable and letting the battery fully charge. Like I always say – please use USB-C since that's the way things are going. Anyway, the LED ring around the fingerprint reader doubles as the charging indicator, glowing red until fully charged when it turns green.

You can always check the battery status by pressing OK-5-OK. The LED ring will flash red as follows:

In addition, when you unlock the safe, if it buzzes five times and the LED flashes red five times, it means the power is very low and needs an immediate charge.

The safe ships with a default combination of 1-1-1-1-1-1. To open the safe, press OK to wake it up, then press "1" six times and OK, and the safe will pop open. The fingerprint reader defaults to accept any fingerprint, so touching the reader also opens the safe. Next up on the setup list was to get rid of these defaults and make the safe mine.

I started with the fingerprints. To store a new fingerprint, and the safe can hold up to 40, press the "Set Fingerprint" button on the interior control panel unit you hear a beep. Then, touch the fingerprint reader five times in a row with the same finger. The LED ring illuminates green for a successful read or red for a failure. It beeps and flashes green when the fingerprint has been stored.

I stored several of my fingerprints as well as several from my wife. She got creative when storing her thumbprint and held her thumb upside down as it was easier. I thought that was a great idea so I tried to do that as well. That way, I’d have both directions of my right thumb stored. When I tried to do that it failed. It failed multiple times. I thought that was strange. Eventually, I figured it out. It failed because that thumbprint was already stored. It turns out that the fingerprint reader is not directional. When you store a fingerprint, it doesn't matter the orientation of your finger when you open the safe. I can hold my finger in any position to open the safe. I like that.

The final setup step was to set the combination. With only five digits and a six to twelve-digit combination, you have to get a little creative. To set it, you press the "Set PWD" button until you hear the beep. Then, enter the password and press OK. Enter the password a second time and press OK to store it. The LED ring will light green to indicate success.

A safe is only as good as what it can hold, how accessible the contents are when you want them, and how inaccessible the contents are when you don't want them accessed. Let's start with capacity.

This is essentially a one-gun safe unless you’re storing compact firearms. Here is a full-sized Glock 21 .45 with a spare magazine dominating the interior of the safe.

I could fit another magazine, but certainly not another firearm at the same time. It is not sized for larger firearms. Here is my attempt at wedging a Desert Eagle .44 Magnum into the safe. It didn't go well.

But, if you want to hold smaller firearms, two compact handguns with spare magazines can fit. Here is a Kimber Ultra TLE II .45 and a Glock 26 9mm nicely cohabitating.

As far as getting you in while keeping prying eyes out, let's start with the combination. Fixed-length combination locks have an inherent disadvantage. A bad guy or inquisitive child ultimately has a finite number of possible combinations to try before getting access. So for a five-digit combination, a total of 10,000 guesses will get you guaranteed access. In this case, with only five available digits, that number is lower. This safe, however, supports combinations of 6 to 12 digits. A bad guy has no idea where to start. So while the total number of possible combinations is still finite, it is a huge number. It is a bit limited since there are only five digits available rather than the usual ten, but still, it provides very secure combination safety. Ten consecutive combination or fingerprint failures puts the safe into hibernation mode for three minutes, blocking access by any method other than the key.

Another interesting feature is that if you want to unlock the safe when prying eyes are watching, as long as you enter the correct combination sequence, you can precede it and follow it with extra digits. For example, if your combination is 1-2-3-4-5, you would normally enter OK-1-2-3-4-5-OK to open the safe. But you can add any number of leading and following digits up to a total of 12 in all and still open the safe. So if someone is watching, entering OK-5-3-1-2-3-4-5-2-1-OK would still open the safe without revealing your password. Of course, they could enter the same string and still get in, so that is a limited safety feature.

The safe also offers a silent mode where the various beeps are silenced. To enable/disable silent mode, press OK-1-OK.

I have no idea how long the battery will last. During testing, I must have opened the safe at least 100 times. In addition, the lid was open for extended periods meaning the interior LED was on for all that time. The battery still reports better than 70% charge so I expect it will be a long time between battery charges.

The thing that impressed me most was the speed and accuracy of the fingerprint reader. It is lightning-fast and works regardless of finger position. Here's a short video showing it in action. Only my thumb and index fingers are enrolled so you’ll see successes and failures.

I like this safe. It is well-made and provides much-needed security for storing a handgun. It also gives us some peace of mind knowing that if the need arises, we can rapidly access that handgun. Ultimately, I plan to mount this on the shelf on my nightstand, providing secure yet fast access to a firearm in our bedroom.

We don't ever want that to happen, but it is nice to know that it is there and safe.

Price: $99.98 (on sale for $69.98 as of this writing)Where to buy: AmazonSource: The sample of this product was provided by Billconch.

REVIEW 1-2-3-4-5 Price Where to buy Source