Our team independently chooses and evaluates products. If you make a purchase using links from our website, we might receive a commission, which assists in funding our product testing.
One of our favorite parts of running Lynx Defense is getting to talk to our customers because we share two passions: guns and high-quality, American-made gun cases and gear. Recently, a fan asked on Instagram which is the best soft rifle case — the discreet case or a soft tactical rifle case?
That’s a great question and one that comes up a lot. The truth is, there’s no right or wrong answer for which is best.
Both cases are well-made and designed to take care of your rifles, but determining the best rifle case for your needs is a process.
For the most part, our customers use our gun cases to house AR-15 so we use best practices to develop cases around those guns. Our soft rifle cases are a great fit for many other guns, not just the AR platform.
Before you checkout, consider these things when deciding which soft rifle case best meets your needs.
Should I get a soft rifle case?
We covered this topic in-depth in another post so we will refer you to that post. But if you don’t want to read two different posts, here’s a summary.
Make sure you know the pros and cons of soft vs. hard rifle cases. There are some limitations to both, and there are some obvious pros to each.
How much gear do you have
Are you a light packer when it comes to your range bag? Or do you want to be prepared for any situation?
Think about what goes into your kit regularly. Maybe even collect it all in one spot to get a visual for how much space it takes up.
From there, you can determine which size bag you need. Do you have hearing protection or other important range bag gear that needs to be carried to the range?
Future AR-15 purchase plans
Are you planning on adding an AR to your lineup in the near future? If so, the tactical rifle cases may make transporting your firearms to and from the range more convenient.
Our double gun soft rifle cases are some of the highest quality and most revered cases on the market today. We work extremely hard to put out great cases and we really believe when it comes to quality rifle cases, we are the best in the industry. But don’t take our word for it; see what our customers say.
How important is padding?
When thinking about transporting your firearms, do you like the peace of mind of extra padding to keep your weapon in pristine condition? Or do you want to maximize utility and get as much gear in your bag as possible? Consider your carrying habits and let those inform your purchase.
All of our cases come with plenty of padding so any choice you make will be a good one. Padding isn’t an afterthought for our soft rifle case design, it’s what we build our cases around because we know how important protecting your AR-15 rifle is.
If you need a heavy-duty rifle case then you have come to the right place.
Will you use the removable gun mat?
One of the defining features of our soft rifle case is the removable gun/shooting mat. This mat is perfect for cleaning, laying out your gear at the range, or using as a barrier between you and the ground in prone shooting positions.
If a gun mat is not something you think will benefit you, a discreet rifle case may be the best option for you.
Do you need a Lockable Zipper?
Our zippers are extremely durable with our all-metal zipper pull you won’t have any issue with it breaking easily. If you are in need of a soft rifle case that locks, look no further. Our rifle cases allow you to run a gun lock through the eye of the zipper pull to secure your long gun with ease.
How many rifles do you carry?
Our double tactical rifle case is the way to go if you plan to carry more than just one AR-15 to the range.
So pull your rifle out of your gun safes and put it in our rifle bag and get to the range!
How will you carry your rifle case?
Having a rifle gun case is important but how you plan to carry it is the most important part.
Soft rifle cases can typically be carried in a number of ways. Typically there is a carry handle that allows you to grab it and carry it by the handle easily.
But if you need your arms and hands you may what a long gun case with a shoulder strap or even backpack-style straps.
Our tactical rifle bags, as well as our discreet rifle cases, offer these options.
The backpack-style straps are a part of our tactical rifle case line, and the shoulder strap is a part of our discreet carry line.
Carry Methods for your Soft Rifle Case
It’s important to know how you plan to carry your case so you know which will be the best soft rifle case to buy.
Soft rifle cases can typically be carried two ways: backpack style and handle carry.
Typically there is a carry handle that allows you to grab it and carry it by the handle easily. But if you need your arms and hands for other reasons you may what a long gun case with a shoulder strap or even backpack style straps.
Our tactical rifle bags, as well as our discreet rifle cases, offer these options. The backpack-style straps are a part of our tactical rifle case line, and the shoulder strap is a part of our discreet carry line.
Rifle bags come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, so it comes as no surprise that sometimes it is difficult to recognize high quality when shopping for a rifle case online.
Below we offer a few tips to look for when shopping for sewn rifle cases since those are our specialty.
Selecting Your High-Quality Rifle Case
When selecting a quality rifle bag, you have plenty of factors to consider.
In this article, we will discuss buying options, styles of cases, colors, and the country of origin for sewn rifle cases, and why those things are important.
Where to Buy to Quality
Many people do not do much research before they buy their rifle case. I know I often find myself on Amazon’s website or Primary Arm’s website when looking to purchase items.
While those marketplaces are great and offer a large selection, they don’t always give you the best soft rifle case options to choose from. It’s important to remember that quantity doesn’t always mean quality. Many of the bags on Amazon’s marketplace are mass-produced in China and other low-labor cost countries.
While this creates an affordable product, it often comes at the cost of poor customer support, substandard workmanship, or low-quality materials.
Be sure to really comb through the reviews of the rifle case you intend to buy, and take note of unanswered negative reviews. Most proactive and customer-centered companies attempt to remedy any bad experience.
Style of Case
In today’s world drawing attention to the fact you are carrying a firearm can have undesired consequences ranging from people making comments to calling the police when you are not doing anything wrong.
Therefore, having a discreet or covert case can often work to your advantage. If that is not an issue, then having a case that is more functional, but obviously, a tactical case will work just fine for you.
Our soft rifle case features multiple pockets and also molle attachment webbing, thus looking more “tactical” to most people. But we also over a line of covert cases made to the same best soft rifle case standards as our tactical line of rifle cases.
The color of one’s bag is often a personal preference, but give some thought to the color you pick before pulling the trigger on buying your bag. Just to be upfront, the color you choose could have some impact on if it’s the best soft rifle case for your needs.
One of our most requested features for our pistol range bag was to have a black outside with a tan interior because it was easier to see in the bag with a lighter interior. We had so many requests, we made it a standard option instead of a by-request option.
When you select your rifle case, keep in mind the area where you live and the normal vegetation that is in your area.
For example, someone who lives in a largely urban area should think twice about getting a green bag if they only go to indoor ranges and don’t travel to grassy areas.
Another thing to consider is the seasons and how they change the look of your vegetation in the fall and winter.
Most people only use their cases and bags for going to and from the range but don’t let that stop you from making an informed decision about the color of your case.
Country of Origin
Many people take pride in buying products “Made in the USA,” namely because they love keeping their money in the country they love and supporting their community.
While that is definitely a positive, it’s not the only benefit. American workers offer an attention to detail that is unmatched in their craft. That doesn’t mean overseas products can’t be high quality, but from our experience, high-quality textile goods are sewn in the US or other countries that pay living wages.
Often, the things people buy tell you about what they support and their beliefs. In the case of our rifle cases made in the United States, they are hand-sewn, one at a time, by only a handful of people who have made hundreds of them.
That kind of experience is hard to come by in factories in China.
Things to Look at for Quality
Materials should be one of the most important things you look at when considering a bag. Having the best soft rifle case for your many means quality materials.
Take note of the following:
Rifle Case Zippers
Zippers are an essential part of the bag and the two manufacturers that are U.S. based are YKK and IDEAL.
We typically use IDEAL zippers since they are, like us, based in North Carolina. Typically, you want to see #9 and #10 zippers; however, on smaller internal pockets we often use #5 zippers.
The numbers on the zippers refer to the width of the teeth in the chain, which would be 5mm, 9mm, or 10mm. Any other zipper is not going to be a quality metal and could often snap after very limited use. We have seen this in many bags we have received from Chinese manufacturers.
Best Soft Rifle Case Fabric
Fabric is arguably the most important part of your bag. It’s a huge portion of what you buy so making sure you are getting quality material that is durable and long-lasting is a no-brainer.
We source our material from mills based in the United States which increases our cost and therefore our price but also provides the highest quality case.
The 500D fabric that is made in the U.S. is typically the 600D-900D fabric advertised by the Chinese bag manufacturers and the 1000D made in the US is typically the 1000D-1300D advertised by Chinese manufacturers.
True branded Cordura will typically carry the Cordura label, like our products do, or have other literature that states that it is true Cordura nylon fabric.
But Cordura isn’t the only fabric used to make the best soft rifle cases. Packcloth, binding, and polyesters are often used and can be just as high quality and reliable as the branded Cordura.
Packcloth and binding serve a much different purpose than the Cordura. It is worth mentioning both of those items have cheap versions and high-quality versions.
Quality Rifle Case Buckles
The key to any kind of plastic buckle is to pay attention to the brand of buckles being used. The three U.S.-made buckles that are considered high quality are National Molding, Duraflex, and Fastex.
If your bag or case has plastic buckles, make sure one of these three manufacturers is being used. Otherwise, you may end up with cheap Chinese plastic buckles that won’t last
Stitching on your Soft Rifle Case
Stitching is extremely important as it holds the rifle bag together. Standard stitching should be 8 stitches per inch along long seams and joints, the more stitches per inch the stronger the stitching and seam will be.
Certain stress points call for reinforced stitching which is bar tacking, the process of bar tacking (a series of stitches used to reinforce areas) should be done to ensure a strong and secure hold.
Check out the Best Soft Rifle Cases
These are the key elements to consider when looking to purchase a quality rifle bag. We have taken all of these into consideration and have produced high-quality rifle cases.