GunVault MicroVault Standard VS Sports Afield Top Access Lightning Handgun Vault

sports afield vs gunvault safe

The Sports Afield Lightning SA-RV2 has been discontinued. To see the safes that have replaced the SA-RV2 follow this link.

Today we compare two very similar handgun safes from very reputable companies. These “clam-shell” style top-access safes are great for keeping under a car seat or in a drawer. While the two different products are very comparable in many respects they also have their own advantages.

The below video says it all but I've also included a summary below the video that you may find helpful.

GunVault Micro Advantages:

  • Comes with a security cable
  • Shorter and thus more likely to fit in tight spaces
  • Finger groves makes it easy to find buttons in the dark
  • Made of 18 Gauge Steel (vs 20 Gauge)

Order The GunVault Micro Here

Sports Afield Top Access Lighting Vault Advantages:

  • Illuminated buttons and interior
  • MSRP is $80 lower
  • Interior space is “taller” allowing for thicker items
  • Lifetime warranty (vs a 5 year warranty)

The Sports Afield Lightning SA-RV2 has been discontinued. To see the safes that have replaced the SA-RV2 follow this link.

What Are Your Thoughts?

Do you own either of these? Share your experience below to help those who may be shopping for a new handgun safe.

About Jacob Paulsen

Jacob S. Paulsen is the President of provides in-person and online firearm training for American gun owners. The Company is currently teaching in-person classes in 25+ states with a team of more than 55 instructors. Jacob is a NRA certified instructor & Range Safety Officer, USCCA certified instructor and training counselor, Utah BCI instructor, Affiliate instructor for Next Level Training, Graduate and certified instructor for The Law of Self Defense, and a Glock and Sig Sauer Certified Armorer. He resides in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado with his wife and children.


  1. LynnB on September 9, 2017 at 11:29 am

    I have 3 Microvaults (one for each of my two cars and one by my bed) and 2 of them stopped opening. Googling the problem, I found this is very common. I have tried to call Gunvault and put on hold forever, finally giving up. Have emailed several times and have never received an answer. I finally just put some olive oil on the latches, and any moving parts on latch/lock, and it worked fine. Too bad G.V. doesn’t care enough about the CUSTOMER to reply to messages and concerns. I feel the Sports Afield might be too “thick” to tuck under most car seats as my GV barely fits my Trailhawk and doesn’t quite squeeze all the way under my Volvo S 60.

    • Abc on August 31, 2021 at 9:20 am

      Consider re-oiling your safe with gun oil. Olive oil will gum-up in about a year’s time. Gun oil is stable over longer times. CLP oil might help in clearing the olive oil and manufacture’s oil. Also avoid 3 in 1 oil, although stable for a few years, it will gum up after that.

  2. Robert on September 9, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Taller safe would probably fit a revolver better. I have a Sports Afield gun safe that the front flops down to open. Mine looks a little taller as well. However, where I have it, there is not a problem with its’ size. Great comparison video. Thanks.

  3. Paige O’Day on October 16, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    I was waiting for you to try and break each lock, and to take a sledgehammer to/or drop each safe to see if, once in hand (such as in a car break-in), one could access a loaded gun?

    This is something I fear about gun under the bed or in a car. I would also have endless guilt if someone got ahold of my gun, and somebody died as a result. Not to mention the cost of litigation.

    I know it would have been an expensive test, but perhaps enough of the members here would be willing to chip in to see it. I know I would.

    • Jacob Paulsen on October 16, 2018 at 1:46 pm

      Paige, I might get to that someday. Both safes passed the California DOJ testing so they both meet a fairly high standard. I suspect they are both as easily opened or not opened so I don’t think the test would produce a big winner but it is worth saying that all handgun vaults are relatively insecure in that the nature of the locks and closing mechanisms is only so strong. Given the right tools and enough time anyone could break in. The key is to secure/tether the safe such that the criminal can’t remove it and take it back to their own “shop” and given the general time constraints that criminals have it should do its job in protecting your firearm.

  4. Jack Wood on June 7, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    I am curious to know on how the battery life would be diminished by leaving this vault system in your car. Extreme heating and cooling in a car or truck tends to play havoc on battery life. What are your ideas?

    • Jacob Paulsen on June 11, 2019 at 12:14 pm

      I haven’t noticed or heard anything from anyone else along these lines. I’ve had a gunvault microvault in my car for several years and have never replaced the battery.

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