Can You Rekey Your Gun Safe for Added Security?

Learn how rekeying your gun safe can enhance its security features and provide an extra layer of protection for your firearms.

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The main purpose of rekeying is to control who can access your gun safe. If you just moved to a new home and needed to know who’s got another access, rekeying would be the smart move.

This article will explain how and why you should rekey your safe.

What is Rekeying?

Rekeying a gun safe is changing the lock cylinder or combination to prevent unauthorized access to your valuables. It is an essential step in maintaining the security of your firearms and protecting them from theft or misuse.

Rekeying your gun safe is particularly important if you have lost your keys or combination or suspect someone else has accessed your safe.

Rekeying is changing the lock mechanism so that the existing one won’t be able to access or open it anymore. It will require a replacement key to gain access. Rekeying locks in a gun safe is often better than replacing your gun safe entirely.

Can all Gun Safes be Rekeyed? 

Not all gun safes can be rekeyed. Gun safes with electronic locks are easily rekeyed compared to mechanical ones.

Changing a combination in a mechanical lock with just a few secret turns is impossible. You must change the internals to bypass the combination. 

When doing so, you may call a locksmith to help rekey your safe. Most gun owners cannot change the combination of their gun safe’s dial lock, but a reputable locksmith can make replacement keys.

Reasons to Rekey Your Gun Safe

Here are the most common reasons gun owners should consider rekeying their guns safe.

1. Increased security and peace of mind

Your invaluable firearms are at risk of being burglarized if you lose your key to your gun safe – not just because of inconvenience but also because of security.

It is essential to ensure that your gun safe cannot be accessed by anyone other than you. Rekeying your safe gives you a heightened sense of security and peace of mind.

2. Change in ownership or access rights

If you need to move to another location or want to sell your gun safe, rekeying is an option. Rekeying is a good way to ensure everyone else has your combination except you.

3. Lost keys or need extra keys

A lost or stolen key can be a real pain, especially if you don’t know who else has it. Rekeying is one of the solutions to secure your firearms in case this happens. You may also rekey when you need spare keys. 

4. Upgrading the lock for better security

Some gun owners want additional security, so they upgrade their locks. Consider converting your electronic lock to a dial lock or vice versa.

Another reason why rekeying a gun safe is crucial is to ensure that the lock is working correctly. Over time, locks can become worn or damaged, making them less effective.

Rekeying the lock can help identify any issues with the lock and ensure that your safe or its contents are not at risk. In addition, rekeying the lock can help improve the overall security of the gun safe, providing peace of mind to gun owners.

DIY vs. Professional Rekeying

Here’s a comparison table that highlights the differences between gun safe DIY rekeying and professional gun safe rekeying:

DIY RekeyingHiring a Professional
Skill level requiredModerate to HighProfessional level skill
Time requiredSeveral hours30 minutes to 1 hour
Result qualityVaries, depending on skill levelConsistent and high-quality
Warranty coverageNoneOften includes a warranty for the rekeying service
Risk of errors/mistakesHighLow

Rekeying Process

If you still choose to do the rekeying yourself and before I tell you the step-by-step guide, here are the tools that you need:

  • New lock cylinder
  • New keys
  • Screwdriver
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Keying kit

Step 1: Remove the Old Lock Cylinder.

Remove the screws that hold the lock cylinder in place using a screwdriver. Once you’ve removed the screws, carefully remove the lock cylinder from the gun safe.

Step 2: Disassemble the Lock Cylinder.

Using a keying kit, disassemble the lock cylinder by removing the retaining clip and the cylinder plug.

Step 3: Remove the Old Pins and Tumblers.

Using needle-nose pliers, remove the old pins and tumblers from the cylinder plug.

Step 4: Install the New Pins and Tumblers.

Insert the new pins and tumblers into the cylinder plug correctly. Use the keying kit to determine the correct order.

Step 5: Reassemble the Lock Cylinder.

Reassemble the lock cylinder by inserting the plug back into the cylinder housing. Reattach the retaining clip.

Step 6: Test the New Key.

Insert the new key into the lock and test to ensure it operates correctly.

Step 7: Install the New Lock Cylinder.

Insert the new lock cylinder into the gun safe and secure it with screws.

Step 8: Dispose of Old Keys.

Dispose of the old keys to prevent unauthorized access to your gun safe.

If you are unable to rekey your gun safe yourself, there are a few options available to you:

1. Hire a Professional

Consider hiring a locksmith to rekey your gun safely. Locksmiths have the necessary experience and tools to rekey locks, and they can ensure that the job is done correctly.

2. Replace the Lock

If rekeying is not an option, consider replacing the entire lock. This will provide you with a new lock and key, ensuring your gun is safe and secure.

3. Purchase a New Gun Safe

If your current gun safe is old or damaged, consider purchasing a new one. This will provide you with a secure lock and ensure that your firearms are stored in a safe and reliable location.

If you need clarification on the best course of action, it’s always a good idea to consult a professional to make sure that your guns remain secure.


Securing your firearms is highly prioritized by gun owners like you. Your lock is your first line of protection.

Rekeying is a fantastic technique to ensure you keep your firearms safe. When doing so, remember to adhere to the safety precautions, and if necessary, bring in a professional if you lack the necessary skills.

Whichever method you choose, it’s crucial to prioritize the security of your firearms, and rekeying your gun safe is an important step in achieving this goal.


Why should I rekey my gun safe?

Rekeying is mostly done to gain key control of your gun safe. In addition, a safe’s locks should be rekeyed whenever there is a change in ownership or possession.

Can all types of gun safes be rekeyed?

Not all gun safes can be rekeyed. Unlike electronic locks, the dial locks on, and a gun safe’s doors cannot be changed. A trustworthy locksmith might be able to do it.

Can rekeying my gun safe void any warranties?

Many manufacturers will void its warranty if you attempt to rekey your gun safe. Call the manufacturer before doing so.

How often should I rekey my gun safe for optimal security?

Rekeying is only required if you lose your keys or wish to be the sole person with access to them. Some gun owners even rekey their gun safes every three years.


“How to Open a Safe with 3-Number or 4-Number Locks.” WikiHow,

“Rekey Definition.” Law Insider,

“Secure Your Firearms with Gun Storage Options.” Be SMART,

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