I needed a quicker, more reliable way to get to my handgun in the event of an emergency while still keeping my firearm away from my children. The StopBox was my answer. Here is my review after two years of use. *This review has been fully updated for 2023
In 2023, there are a plethora of handgun safes, and a few retention devices like the StopBox on the market. It can be tough to make an informed decision when you haven’t had the chance to test most of them personally.
After nearly two years of use with the StopBox, I highly recommend this handgun retention device if you are looking for a concealed spot to store your weapon on the go without giving easy access to younger children. It serves that purpose well and has had no issues (other than the single issue listed below, which has since been corrected). I have referred multiple people to the StopBox, and have heard positive feedback from all of them, including my father.
Now, I can’t say all feedback has been positive. If you look at the comments on my video review of the StopBox here, you can see there are some negative comments from people that own the box. In my opinion, it comes down to your intended purpose for the box and what you expect out of it. I cover both of these points in the below review.
What is it?
The StopBox is a polymer (plastic) handgun retention device, not to be confused with a safe, that uses a hand-operated lock. There are six possible combinations on the standard box. The box is opened by placing downward pressure and applying force to the correct finger tabs. The StopBox does not use any batteries.
Who is this “safe” made for?
I want to start by being very clear that the StopBox is NOT a safe. It is a handgun retention device. What’s the difference? The difference comes in the purpose of the box.
A safe is meant to prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to your firearm. With digital and fingerprint locks on many models, the safe’s job is to protect your handgun and make it very difficult for someone to gain access even if they tried.
On the other hand, a retention box is a box designed to keep your gun out of view and safe from young children while still providing quick access. After all, the StopBox is made from ABS plastic and only has six possible finger combinations, so any adult can open the box within a few minutes of trying if they want to. There is an accessory pack that can be purchased that will add nine other combination options for a total of 15 possible combinations.
I wanted to have my gun beside my bed at night or even in the office or kitchen during the day without worrying that my children could gain access to it. I have a 5-year-old, 3-year-old, and a 1-year-old.
I also wanted to be sure in the event of an emergency that I could quickly gain access to my firearm without worrying about placing my thumb in the wrong spot on a fingerprint reader, punching in the wrong code, or worse, finding out the batteries in my safe died.
When I saw an ad for StopBox and researched it, I found it fulfilled all my needs in theory. So I had to test it out. Since the StopBox is operated with a finger combination where it opens when the fingers are placed in the correct spot, it can be opened as fast as you can place your hands on it.
Since it’s an entirely manual lock, it also doesn’t require batteries, so you’ll never need to worry about the batteries dying or charging your safe. It also doesn’t use a key, so there are no extra parts to worry about keeping track of.
The finger tabs that need to be pressed to open the box are placed far enough a part that only an adult size hand could open it. For the safe to open, the correct combination of the front four tabs needs to be pressed. Once the proper front four tabs are pressed in. the thumb tab on the side can be pressed in.
As an extra safety feature, for any of the tabs to be pressed, there needs to be a downward force from your palm pushing on the box. Otherwise, the tabs stay locked in the out position.
This setup makes it near impossible for small children to gain access to it even if they know the exact finger combination. Still, it allows you rapid access to your firearm since the whole process of opening the safe can be done in one swift motion.
Construction and Quality of the StopBox
The StopBox is made from a Polycarbonate-ABS Construction (plastic). It is light in weight but feels rigid and robust to the touch. There are four rubber spacers on the underside of the box to give the box grip when placed on a hard surface and prevent any scratches.
The locking tabs are made from plastic, as are most of the internal components. Aside from some screws and a spring, all the parts of my box are ABS.
Inside the StopBox there are two pieces of foam. One on the top and one on the bottom. These foam pieces are glued to the box to prevent movement when opening. There is very little space between the foam pieces when the box is closed, making your gun snug between the foam.
This prevents all movement of the gun while the box is closed. Whether I place my Shadow Systems MR920 in there or my wife’s Ruger LCP, the guns are set in place with the pressure from the foam.
After my two years of use, the foam has some indents and printing from the guns but continues to hold them in place securely.
Daily use of the StopBox
When I first received my StopBox, there was a minimal learning curve with opening the safe. At first, it seems finicky, but once you understand your fingers’ placement and how to apply the appropriate downward force with your palm while opening, it becomes second nature.
I can easily open the safe and grab the firearm within 1-2 seconds every time.
Since the buttons on the safe are spread out, it makes it nearly impossible for small children to open it. If they knew the combination and used both hands, they would still have a difficult time applying the downward force needed to unlock the finger tabs.
For small children (1-5 years old or so), I wouldn’t have any worries about them being able to gain access to the box. Once we start talking about children six and up, that’s probably a different story. Luckily I have a little more time until my children are that age to teach them about firearm safety.
Another use I have for this box other than sitting beside my bed at night is in the car. There are often locations I cannot conceal carry. In the event I have my gun on me and need to leave it in the car, the last thing I want to do is leave a loaded weapon in the glove box or center console my children could access. The StopBox works perfectly to place the gun in and throw in the center console.
In addition, there is an added layer of security since any prying eyes looking into your vehicle likely would not be able to tell what the box was even if they saw it.
What I like about the StopBox
- I take extreme comfort in that I can have quick access to my firearm in the event of an emergency without the need for any codes, fingerprint readers, or keys.
- I like the fact I can have my gun near me throughout the day when not carrying it and not be worried about my children gaining access. I do want to note that while I don’t think my 1, 3, or 5-year-old can open the StopBox, I still try and keep it out of reach on the countertop or in a drawer and have told them not to touch the box many times (they know this rule exceptionally well). I have yet to have either of them even attempt to mess with the box, much less get close to opening it.
- I like that the box is discreet, and it is not easy to tell what it is. I can take the StopBox out of the car and carry it into the house without neighbors seeing a prominent gun safe in my hands.
What I don’t like about it
- Shortly after receiving the box, I noticed that when I went to close the box, it wouldn’t close. I would need to suppress the finger tabs again with it open in order to get the box to close. This wasn’t extremely alarming to me since I wanted speed in opening the box, not closing it. But it was an annoyance.
- After digging around and calling StopBox customer support, I found they knew about the issue and had changed one of the internal components from plastic to metal to prevent this problem on all new boxes.
- They offered to send me the piece completely free to fix the issue on my box. This fix solved the problem, and I very much respect their customer service for sending the part at no cost. Anyone purchasing the box as of this writing should not worry about this issue.
- I also would have liked to see, especially for the price of the StopBox, internal metal components and finger tabs instead of plastic. While the locking mechanism works, it feels cheap.
- I understand the box needs to be ABS to save on weight and cost, but making the locking mechanism more robust would give the product a much better overall feel and a longer lifespan.
For the purpose the StopBox fills for me, there’s nothing else I’ve found that does it better. It’s solid, works as it’s supposed to, and does the job I need. I highly recommend this box and the company itself for anyone needing quick access to their firearm while keeping it out of the reach of children.
Yes, it can. It might work better. You will still need to use your right hand to open the box, but as the box is opening, you can grab your firearm with your left hand. For right-handed users they need to open the box entirely and then reach in with the same hand to retrieve their weapon.
Almost all full-size handguns can fit even with a large light, such as the X300. I actually place my wife’s Ruger LCP AND my Taurus PT111 in the box together, and they fit.
My Shadow Systems MR920 (equivalent to a Glock 19) with a red dot, extra mag, and light fit without issue.
The box comes preset with a standard combination. It can be opened by pressing the first and last of the four top tabs and the thumb tab on the side while applying downward pressure with your palm. With a screwdriver, you can follow the instructions and quickly switch out the combination for something else.
Since I purchased the StopBox, I have also purchased their AR-15 Chamber Lock and the Strike Vehicle box. I will be releasing detailed reviews on these two devices shortly.
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