[SHOT Show 2020] Reach Holster Safe: High Access + High Security

   02.27.20

Having a firearm for self-protection can present major challenges in the balance between access to versus security of the gun. A new breed of bio-metric safe, seen at SHOT Show 2020, seems to provide near-instant access while also offering theft- and tamper-resistant, safe storage. The Reach Holster Safe made by Vara Safety. It’s a firearm-specific unit that attaches to a wall, vehicle console, or furniture using four provided screws – or for greater security, provide your own bolts.

Reach Holster Safe
The Reach is advertised for use in the desk comma bed comma or vehicle

An electric charger with 8-hour battery backup is contained within the wall mount. Electricity is supplied through a USB cord, which can be plugged into the wall or another device for charging. The Reach Holster Safe unit, including a locking holster specifically made for each available handgun model, slides into and the charging unit and locks in. An Allen wrench (provided) is required to install the safe into the charger.

In addition to the bio-metric lock operated with a thumbprint, a set of keys provides for mechanical removal of the safe unit. The thumbprint reader allows up to 10 users to register for access. Clear instructions are provided for recording a thumbprint in the safe, a process that takes a few minutes per user.

Reach Holster Safe
The holster operates by reading registered thumbprints

A slim black holster fits into the unit and locks the handgun in without danger of trigger activation. A firing grip can be achieved while simultaneously using the thumbprint reader, making this holster the apparent winner in its class for speed of access. Like any piece of gun equipment, the user manual recommends practicing with the safe before using it. The orientation of the thumb doesn’t affect the reader’s function, but pressure can. Users must understand the correct touch on the reader required to release the gun instantly. This appears to be fairly simple, though, as those demonstrating the safe at SHOT Show were able to draw from the Reach Holster Safe nearly as fast as a good draw from an outside-the-waistband holster.

The Reach Holster Safe is sold to match a large assortment of popular handguns, from the classic Colt government-size 1911 to the Springfield Armory Hellcat, and dozens in between. The company solicits suggestions about new models through its website.

Reach Holster Safe
Factory testing. It took 388 pounds of vertical pull on the frame of the handgun before Reach began to give way

A word of caution is issued for people who have a history of having difficult-to-record prints; they may also have challenges with the Reach Holster Safe reading their thumbprint. Likewise, hands that are covered in lotion or other stuff could encounter trouble accessing the gun – not to mention that gloves, as often worn in the vehicle in winter – would prevent its use altogether. Also, there is no left-handed model, so while lefties can use the device, it won’t be as smooth to operate.

Despite those limitations, the Reach Holster Safe appears to be a real problem-solver for the issue of access versus security of handguns.

Current price is $299.99. The company also offers a payment plan of $75 per month.

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