Sentry Safe Biometric Quick Access Pistol Safe Model # QAP1BE Review

  • Written by: Amanda Myers

Editor rating: 5/5

I love this safe for all that it is. It is clear that the manufacturer thought of all the features needed to make this work just like how we wanted it to work. There are three ways to enter the safe: biometrics, keypad, and an override key. Plus it has a LED indicator and several safety features like its solid steel construction, pry-resistant lid, internal hinge and it is mountable from the inside. All these at an affordable price. Easy to use, quick to open, and pretty quiet not to alert the intruder. What more could you ask for?

I would have knocked off one star because it is battery-powered but as long as you use the batteries that follow the manufacturer's requirements, you could see your battery last for 6 months up to more than a year. Besides, I would still prefer a battery-powered safe than an AC-powered safe unless if you have a generator that could back you up during power outages. Anyway, it isn't too much of a hassle to replace batteries once or twice a year. You could trust the safe whether you have electricity or not.

Advantages and disadvantages

  • One of the most affordable in the market
  • Construction feels solid, heavy, and durable
  • Mountable on floor, wall, or cabinet.
  • Comes with mounting hardware
  • Keypad lights up - easily pressed in the dark
  • Battery slot is easy to access
  • Fingerprint reader works
  • Fingerprint programming was easy
  • Fingerprint reader and keypad has no beeping sound
  • Comes with 2 backup tubular keys
  • Opens fast and pretty quietly with compression gas strut that holds the door in open position
  • Pry-resistant - Lid has downward angle so it is not easy to pry open
  • Has a decent amount of space for gun, revolver, pistol, ammo, magazine, flashlight, or barrel
  • Has soft foam pads inside (top and bottom)
  • Internal hinge
  • Red light blinks every 10 seconds when battery is low
  • Locks after 5 false attempts on the keypad and only takes a couple of seconds to reset
  • Complies with CA requirements
  • Has a portable model
  • Goes into standby mode when not in use so it saves battery life
  • It is not too big so it can fit in many places inside your house or car.
  • Has LED indicator
  • Buttons aren't numbered
  • Picky when it comes to the type of battery you can use.
  • Cannot be plugged into an outlet
  • Must be woken up before it can accept your fingerprint or button code
  • You could hear a slight sound when you open it but not very much.


Let's face it! The price is as important as the quality of the product and I am happy to say that you could get an affordable yet good quality biometric safe. The Sentry Safe Biometric Quick Access Pistol Safe Model # QAP1BE is affordable and complies with CA DOJ requirements. Aside from a biometric safe, you could also get a combination or portable safe from the same company. The portable safe allows you to store the safe in your car or any vehicle you have while traveling.


The unit is heavy for its size which means no one can easily move the unit which is a very important thing since we want to keep our firearm in one safe place. And at the same time, it isn't too heavy to be carried to a car in case you are traveling. It could hold 1 J & K size revolver or full-size semi-automatic handgun together with a magazine, ammo, barrel, or flashlight. For an ordinary person who wants to keep a firearm in a household for protection, the size of this unit is more than adequate.

Weight: 12 pounds


Exterior - Height x Width x Depth: 3.2 in x 12.0 in x 9.9 in
Interior - Height x Width x Depth :2.2 in x 9.7 in x 6.6 in


One of the main highlights of this biometric safe is its construction. It is made of solid steel, you'll immediately see and feel that the safe is sturdy and durable. It looks simple so it does easily catch anyone's attention.

For safety purposes, the safe has a pry-resistant top lid design, an internal hinge, and can be floor, wall, or cabinet mounted from the inside using a screw.

The top and bottom interior of the safe is covered with thin pads so the gun won't scratch the wall of the safe and vice versa.

The company advertises the safe as whisper kind of quiet which is true since it is not completely quiet when you open it. It makes a sound but very little, not distinct. This has a lot to do with the compression gas strut. It helps open the safe quickly with less noise and keeping it open so you can pick up your firearm easily.


For the price you pay, you could get a safe that can be opened in three ways: biometric, digital electronic keypad, and two tubular override keys. It is easy to program your fingerprint and code plus the safe does not make a beeping sound or any kind of sound when you swipe your finger or press the keypad. For convenience, the keypad lights up a bit so you can punch in your code in the dark.

Some things to note, you need to wake the safe from standby mode by pressing a button before it is ready to accept your code or fingerprint. Some people may not like this but personally, I think this feature is reasonable and great. Firstly, the safe goes into standby mode when not in use to save battery life since the safe is battery-powered. This will help you save batteries. Secondly, it only takes a fraction of a second to wake the safe up.

I saw several reviews saying that the safe does not give a warning that the battery is low. This is not true. The LED on the safe should blink in red once every 10 seconds if the battery is low. Plus it gives other warnings to help you troubleshoot the safe in case you experience problems such as incorrect code or fingerprint, system error, locked, and much more.


  • Red LED blinks 3 times - Incorrect code or fingerprint, programming error
  • Red LED blinks 5 times - System error: power failure
  • Red LED blinks once every 10 seconds - Battery is low. Replace batteries.
  • Red LED slow blinks for 2 minutes - 5 failed attempts. Wait for 2 minutes or use the override key.
  • Cannot open the lid after entering code or fingerprint - Batteries have reached the end of life.
  • The lid does not open when using override key - Gas strut has stopped working.


Another prominent issue raised by many reviewers is the battery. Before anything else, I would like to emphasize the following tips when buying or using a battery. These tips can also be found in the manual that comes with the safe.

Only insert four AA "alkaline" batteries. Some people use whatever batteries they can find in a store. Using an incorrect battery will affect the performance of the safe.

Do not use rechargeable batteries. This is unfortunate I know. But to avoid problems, it is best to follow the manufacturer's requirements is it would help you save some hassle and get optimum performance when using the safe. Since this safe is going to be used in life and death situations, you would want to do what you need to do ensure that the safe is working perfectly.

Do not mix old and new batteries.

Yes, the safe is quite picky when it comes to batteries. It is best to look at the bright side instead. If you use the batteries required, the safe will be able to function well and the batteries could last longer. Based on our surveys, batteries could last for 6 months up to more than a year if battery requirements are being followed which is totally not bad for a battery-powered unit.

A tip from us, we recommend checking the LED on the safe once in a while to check the status of the battery. Take note of how long your first battery will last so you would know how long you have to wait before you need to replace your batteries.

Basically, the battery is the only thing you need to watch out for and replace every half a year, which is not too much of a hassle, honestly.

Besides, you are provided with two backup override keys just in case.

How it works


  1. Open the safe using the key.
  2. Remove the battery cover and insert four AA alkaline batteries. Tips: Do not use rechargeable and non-alkaline batteries. Do not mix old and new batteries. Do not mix alkaline and standard batteries.
  3. Press the button once to bring the safe out of standby mode then enter the Factory code 12341. The green LED will light.
  4. Open the battery cover. Do not remove the batteries. Find the button located behind the battery pack. Press and hold the button until the keypad flashes 3 times. The LED remain on to indicate it is ready to accept a new user code or fingerprint.
  5. Enter a user code that is four, five or six digits long. A successful programming of the user code is indicated when the LED light flashes green three times.
  6. Swipe first finger across fingerprint scanner. You will swipe this finger multiple times. The LED light will flash green once for each valid scan. After enough scans (usually 5-10 scans), the LED light will flash green three times.
  7. After enrolling your first finger, immediately swipe your second finger multiple times. The LED light will flash green once for each valid scan. After enough scans (usually 5-10 scans), the LED light will flash green three times.
  8. When not in use, the safe will go into standby mode. This is a lower power mode. Pressing a button or touching the fingerprint scanner will end the standby mode.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this fire resistant?

How many fingerprints can be programmed?

What is the size?

Is there a low battery indicator?

Can I only use the biometric reader to open it?

Does it come with a cord?

Is it battery draining and how long do batteries last?

Is this safe approved by CA DOJ?

Is it fully padded?

Does it lock you out when you put the wrong combination in?

Can I deactivate the button?

How many batteries does the safe need?

How to contact SentrySafe?

Can I use the biometric and keypad at the same time? Or use them in combination?