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Choosing a suitable rifle case is crucial for ensuring the safety and longevity of your firearm.
A rifle case’s primary function is to make your AR-15 rifle easier to transport and keep safe.
However, the need for a case can vary depending on each individual’s requirements, such as traveling in the back of a truck or carrying the gun from a safe to the range.
Must Have Rifle Case Features
Getting the perfect AR-15 rifle case entails considering a collection of must-have features. Here’s what you should look for:
- Size: The rifle case should accommodate your AR-15 comfortably without forcing you to disassemble the rifle significantly.
- MOLLE Functionality: For those requiring tactical adaptability, a case with MOLLE functionality allows you to attach additional gear.
- Storage Pockets: Additional compartments to store other items, such as ammunition, scopes, or cleaning supplies, are essential.
- Rifle Retention: The case should retain the rifle securely, preventing any possible damage during transportation.
- Carry Straps and Handles: Good quality handle straps and shoulder slings make carrying the rifle case easier.
- Color: Often overlooked, color preference can be vital for a tactical advantageous camouflage or personal style expression.
Remember to look for the rifle case that suits your needs, not simply the one with the most features. Any unnecessary elements can add unwanted weight or potential failure points.
Reviewing the Top AR-15 Cases
Having the best case isn’t always necessary but isn’t it better to know the best to make an informed purchasing decision?
Lynx Defense – Classic Rifle Case
The Lynx Defense Classic Rifle Case stands out for its meticulous attention to detail. It is handcrafted entirely in the United States, displaying domestic production’s care and quality workmanship.
The Classic Rifle Case is designed to carry your AR-15 securely, with plenty of extra space for additional magazines, optics, and other equipment.
With its modular lightweight load-carrying equipment (MOLLE) compatibility, this case offers added versatility, permitting you to attach additional pouches or gear.
It doesn’t skimp on comfort, either. As you lug your gear to the shooting range, the padded dividers and shoulder straps will ensure you’re not straining under the weight. The case offers a good balance between portability and protection, all without sacrificing stylish design.
Lastly, the case is highly durable and can withstand rough handling in a tactical or hunting scenario. Thanks to its 1000D Cordura fabric, it will serve you well, rain or shine. Conclusion? If you’re after consistent, high-quality cases, we don’t disappoint.
Lynx Defense – Bronx Low Profile Case
Another offering from Lynx Defense, the Bronx Low Profile Case, is designed for those who prize discretion and subtlety.
It’s an excellent option for those who want a simple, efficient way to transport their firearms and gear without drawing too much attention.
As with all Lynx Defense products, this case is entirely handcrafted in the USA. It’s made from US-produced 1000D Cordura, a material renowned for its rugged durability and ability to hold up well under varying conditions, ensuring the bag’s longevity.
The versatile carrying options – hand and shoulder straps – add extra comfort for the carrier. To sum it up, the Bronx Low Profile Case is a top choice if you’re looking for a quality low-profile case with plenty of space for multiple firearms.
Savior Equipment – American Classic Rifle Bag
Savior Equipment’s American Classic Rifle Bag provides a versatile and roomy option for multiple firearms and accessories. This bag sets a high standard regarding carrying capacity, quality, and affordability.
The bag offers distinct compartments, comfortably housing two rifles up to 42 inches in length. In addition, several positions are available to hold pistols, and many pouches can store all the extras like ear protection, shooting gloves, or a cleaning kit.
The rifle bag is designed for comfort. With its well-padded straps and heavy-duty carry handles, transportation becomes a breeze. Built using 600D PVC shell & interior lining on all sides.
Finally, the American Classic Rifle Bag offers a customizable front pocket with three larger hook-and-loop panels. This feature lets you add or change compartments to fit your specific needs.
The Savior Equipment Tactical Double Rifle Bag is an excellent choice for those who value comfort, durability, and a high degree of personalizable storage capability.
HQ ISSUE Tactical Rifle Case
The HQ ISSUE Tactical Rifle Case Hard with Foam is a great option for those who need a tactical edge. This case has earned high marks for its rugged construction and practical design.
Made with a robust outer shell, this case can take a beating while protecting your AR-15 and other gear inside.
The interior foam padding can be customized to mechanically isolate and protect your rifle from impacts – a feature that comes in handy during rigorous field conditions.
This rifle case confirms that it covers the basic requirements with lasting quality. It has a pressure release valve, rubber gasket seal, and four double-throw latches, keeping everything dry and protected.
Additional features like padlock tabs for extra security and the stackable design for efficient storage only increase the overall value of this case.
The HQ ISSUE Tactical Rifle Case is the perfect blend of security and freedom, making your transportation easy and stress-free.
Nanuk 990 Gun Case
The Nanuk 990 Gun Case strikes a winning combination of rugged durability, solid engineering, and thoughtful design.
It has been developed to withstand tough conditions, making it an excellent choice for serious outdoor enthusiasts.
At its core, the case boasts of a lightweight yet tough NK-7 resin shell, providing impressive protection against the elements.
The PowerClaw latching system, augmented by integrated TSA-accepted key locks, ensures secure storage and easy accessibility during inspections.
The Nanuk 990 can comfortably accommodate a standard 36” AR15 rifle and offers space for up to eight magazines.
It even provides room for a pistol and four universal single or double-stack handgun magazines. This storage capability makes it a favorite among sportsmen, hunters, gun enthusiasts, law enforcement personnel, and the military.
Regarding portability, the gun case features a comfortable soft-grip handle and offers stainless steel hardware for damage prevention during travel or shipping. It also has an automatic pressure release valve and a lifetime warranty.
Finally, the case touches on aesthetics, offering two attractive colors – black and olive. Overall, the NANUK 990 AR15 case hits all the right notes regarding convenience, security, and organized storage.
Pelican Vault V800
Would this even be a serious guide if there wasn’t a Pelican product mentioned The Pelican Vault V800 Wide Hard Case is a go-to choice for gun enthusiasts everywhere.
Thanks to its robust polyethylene construction, this model offers elite protection for your AR-15 rifle.
The case boasts four push-button latches for secure closure and two stainless steel lock hasps for added security. Additionally, it is equipped with four metal-reinforced corners for extra protection against drops and falls.
Internally, the Vault V800 doesn’t disappoint with its four-layer foam set, ensuring the safety of your AR-15 during transport.
Comfort in transport is not overlooked as the case comes with two handles and wheels for easy maneuverability. The automated pressure equalization valve is a noteworthy feature, ensuring the safety of your gear at high altitudes.
Customer reviews highlight the case’s durability, with one buyer stating, “We used this as toolboxes in field support, and they withstood years of getting beat up. So when I was looking for a case for my rifle system, I knew I had to have THIS case to protect my firearms.”
Moreover, the best part about Pelican Vault V800 is that it comes with Pelican’s Lifetime Guarantee of Excellence – reassurance on the product’s durability. Hence, you can never go wrong with the Pelican Vault V800 for sturdy construction and top-notch protection.
Plano All Weather II
The Plano All Weather II with Pluck-To-Fit Foam case boasts of some significant upgrades over its predecessor. The standout enhancements are in the handle and overall case design, leading to a more comfortable and visually appealing.
Unlike its predecessor, all four latches are at the front of the case. This arrangement adds to its streamlined look. However, it’s worth noting that this design might be a cause for concern regarding waterproofness, as nothing compresses the sides when the case is closed.
Still, let’s not overlook some of its solid features. The Plano All Weather II comes in dimensions of 46″ L x 16″ W x 5.5″ D, proving to be more than adequate for an AR-15.
The key player here is its Pluck-To-Fit foam, which offers custom protection for your firearm, enhancing safety and security during travel. Dual-stage locking latches and an air pressure release valve round out a very serviceable rifle case.
To sum up, the Plano All Weather II shines in design and comfort. However, watch out for waterproof concerns before making it your gun case of choice.
Breaking Down the Different Types
Hard Gun Cases vs. Soft Gun Cases
Regarding protecting and transporting your AR-15, both hard and soft gun cases have advantages and drawbacks.
Hard Gun Cases A hard gun case provides a higher level of protection. Mostly made from sturdy materials like high-impact plastic or metal, these are resistant to damage, water, and dust.
They are best equipped to absorb shocks and impacts, offering better protection for expensive firearms. Many hard cases also have foam lining or padding, adding an extra cushioning layer. Their typically larger size means they can house more gear. Nevertheless, they tend to be heavier, pricier, and more challenging to transport due to their bulky nature.
Soft Gun Cases Soft cases are generally lighter, less expensive, and more portable than hard cases.
They are foldable and made from fabrics like canvas or nylon, making storage considerably easy. Although they provide less protection than hard cases, they offer dust, moisture, and impact protection.
However, the protection is much less comprehensive than what you get with a hard case. Soft cases are ideal for short-range trips and quick pack-ups, especially where bulk and weight are issues.
In conclusion, your choice between a hard or soft gun case depends on your requirements – the kind of protection you need, ease of transportation, the weight you can handle, and your budget.
Discreet Versus Obvious: What’s Your Style?
When choosing a rifle case, the aesthetic and what it conveys are important factors.
Do you prefer a discreet design that keeps your weapon under the radar or an obvious gun case that makes no secret about what it might contain?
Discreet Cases Discreet cases don’t resemble firearm storage at first glance.
They blend in, eliminating the risk of unwanted attention or alarm. If you value privacy, these covert cases are perfect.
They are designed with low-profile exterior aesthetics akin to gym or musician equipment bags. Popular brands that offer covert-style cases include Lynx Defense and Savior Equipment.
Obvious Gun Cases Obvious gun cases leave no doubt that you are transporting a firearm. They usually exhibit an archetypal, robust, tactical design.
These cases are perfect for shooting ranges or places where openly carrying firearms is commonplace. Brands like Plano and Nanuk are renowned for their unmistakable rifle cases.
Therefore, choosing between the two styles is entirely personal. If you prefer to keep a low profile while transporting your firearm, go for the discreet design. But if you’re okay with having an obvious gun case, plenty of great options are available.
Things to Consider
The top things to consider are size, quality, durability, and features. Let’s dive into those a little.
Determining the Right Size
One of the primary factors to consider when choosing a gun case is size. Selecting a size appropriate for your AR-15 ensures efficient packing and safe transport. Here’s how to get the right size:
Firstly, measure your firearm. Remember, an AR-15 can come in various sizes. Know the exact length of your AR-15, considering all attachments, such as flashlights, optics, and accessories.
Remember that the case size includes length, width, and depth. All three dimensions count, especially if you have rail-mounted attachments.
Secondly, think about storage capacity. If you plan to take a decent amount of ammunition, gear, and multiple firearms to the range, your bag should have a suffencent storage capacity.
Lastly, remember that size and weight are interconnected. If you don’t need to pack lots of extra gear, you don’t need a large case. The weight of these things adds up fast. So, aim for balance – a rifle case that comfortably fits your gun and accessories without being unnecessarily bulky or heavy. Consider your strength and endurance as well. After all, you’ll be the one carrying it.
Evaluating Quality and Durability
Quality and durability are crucial when selecting a gun case for your AR-15. To evaluate the construction quality of a gun case, you need to assess several factors:
- Materials Used: One of the most critical elements is the material used to construct the case. For hard cases, look for crushproof materials like polypropylene and polyethylene. Materials like Nylon and Cordura are best for soft cases due to their durability and resistance to tears and abrasions.
- Quality of Stitching and Fasteners: The stitching and fasteners are key areas where issues may arise. Check the stitching for strength and consistency and make sure it won’t easily tear or unravel. The fasteners should also be sturdy and reliable, as these will be used regularly.
- Internal Cushioning: Inside protection is also vital. For hard cases, look for a customizable pluck-and-pull foam layering system or custom-cut foam. For soft cases, a lined internal padding system is ideal.
- Water and Dust Resistance: A good quality case should provide some degree of protection against environmental elements. Hard cases should be watertight with gaskets, while soft cases should at least be water-resistant.
- Locking Mechanism: A quality gun case should have a robust locking mechanism to keep your firearms safe while stored or transported.
Remember these points to evaluate the quality and durability of the gun case before making your purchase. Your AR-15 deserves the best protection possible.
Additional Features: Pockets, Straps, and More
After assessing the fundamentals like size, quality, and durability, it’s important to look at the extras that ease the handling and improve user satisfaction. Here are some additional attributes to consider in a rifle case:
- Additional Pockets or Compartments: Look for cases that offer extra pockets and compartments. These added spaces allow you to carry more than just the AR-15. The ability to hold extra magazines, optics, cleaning tools, range earmuffs, etc., on the go is a significant advantage.
- Straps and Handles: A convenient carrying system is another key feature to consider. The preferable cases come with both shoulder straps and handles. Shoulder straps should be adjustable and well-padded for comfort. The positioning of the handles matters too; look for centered top handles for balanced carrying.
- MOLLE Compatibility: This feature is especially useful for those who need additional exterior storage space. Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment (MOLLE) allows you to attach pouches, holders, or other gear.
- Interior Padding or Foam Inserts: This is an essential feature in safeguarding your AR-15, preventing damage from accidental drops or bumps during transportation.
Remember, not all of the ‘extras’ may be necessary for your specific needs. Reflect on what you genuinely need and let those requirements guide your final choice.
Expert Picks: Best Cases for AR-15
Here are my picks for best case, best budge case, and best hard case.
Editor’s Choice Best Case
I prefer discreet cases for the most part as I don’t like to draw attraction to my firearms during transport even if I’m going to a gun range.
So for me the Urban Legend Series of bags are my go-to case choice. For my full size AR-15 rifles go in the Bronx, which is my pick for best case.
Editor’s Best Budget Soft Gun Case
As per extensive evaluations and user reviews, our Editor’s Pick for the best soft gun case goes to the Savior Equipment Classic Rifle Bag. It’s been praised for its excellent durability and innovative design.
When it comes to storage, the bag fares well. It offers a streamlined or traditional pouch option, allowing users to organize their gear efficiently. Despite its robust built, a point to note is that it can get heavy when completely filled.
However, due to its reliability and enduring performance, the Savior Equipment Gun Case is still a favorite go-to rifle bag for many users. Its blend of durability, generous storage space, and stylish designs make it the best budget soft gun case pick.
Editors Pick: Best Hard Case
When choosing the best hard case for your AR-15, I recommend the Pelican V800 Rifle Case.
Waterproofing and dust-proofing are handled through a tongue and groove fit device, a polymer o-ring, and a pressure equalization valve. Thus, it protects against every environmental challenge you can imagine.
Internally, the case is spacious enough to contain a full AR-15, accommodating your red dot scope or two, extra magazines, and even fitted out with thick foam padding for optimum gear protection. Additionally, the Pelican case features wheels and a robust handle for simplified transport.
Should I get a soft gun case or hard gun case?
Choosing a soft or hard gun case greatly depends on your individual needs and usage. If you require lightweight transport for short range trips, along with the ease of storage when not in use, a soft case is ideal. However, it provides less protection against physical impact and environmental elements than a hard case.
On the other hand, while a hard case can be bulky and heavier, it offers greater protection.
This makes it a better choice if you need to transport your AR-15 over longer distances, or have expensive attachments that require added protection.
What are hard case requirements for airline travel?
Traveling with firearms can be a tricky process, particularly with airlines, due to strict security measures. You must ensure your case adheres to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations to get through without a hitch.
Hard gun cases for airline travel must be:
Strong and built to withstand physical impact.
Fully lockable and equipped with a tamper-proof locking system. Locks should be either key locks or combination locks. TSA-accepted padlocks are recommended.
Sealable to prevent unintentional opening during handling and flight.
Capable of completely containing the firearm. The firearm must be unloaded.
Checking the gun laws in the destination area is also advisable, as these can vary from state to state. Remember: compliance with regulations not only ensures a hassle-free journey but also the safety of all.
Can I store my guns in a case?
Yes, you can store guns in a case, but it’s not typically recommended for long-term storage. While cases provide excellent protection during transport, they can potentially trap moisture, especially if foam or cushion lining is present. This trapped moisture can cause rust or other damage over time.
It’s best to store guns in a dry, well-ventilated location for long-term storage. Also, consider regular firearm maintenance, including cleaning and oiling to prevent any damage or mechanical issues.
In some specific cases, gun cases are designed for long-term storage, with features like desiccants or built-in rust inhibitors. If long-term storage in a case is necessary, seek out these cases or consider using a desiccant or vapor corrosion inhibitor (VCI) protection.
Are 42-inch bags good for an AR-15?
Yes, 42-inch gun bags are perfectly suitable for most AR-15 rifles. The standard size of an AR-15 is usually around 33 to 36 inches, depending on the barrel and stock. Therefore, a 42-inch gun bag provides ample space for the rifle, allowing for additional padding to ensure secure transportation.
Moreover, these bags generally have extra compartments or pouches to accommodate magazines, scopes, and other accessories. Users appreciate this feature, as evidenced by a helpful review on Amazon.com, which reads, “I bought three S&W M&P 15 Sport II AR-15 5.56 rifles this past month and more than enough room in these for even more padding if needed to protect optics, use large optics, carry more magazines inside and comfortably fit the rifle with red dot/scope combo, or full-length scope.”
Overall, a 42-inch bag is a great choice for AR-15 owners seeking plenty of room for their rifle and accessories.