Rifle bags come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, so it comes as no surprise that sometimes it is difficult to recognize a high-quality bag when shopping for a rifle case. Below we offer a few tips to use when shopping for sewn rifle cases since those are our specialty.
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.
Where to Buy
Many people do not research where they buy their rifle case from. I know I often find myself on Amazon’s website or WalMart’s website when looking to purchase items. While those marketplaces are great and offer a large selection, they don’t always give you quality 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 or substandard workmanship. 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 discrete case can often work to your advantage. If that is not an issue, then having a case that is more functional, but obviously, a gun bag will work just fine for you.
Our rifle case features multiple pockets and also molle attachment webbing, thus looking more “tactical” to most people.
The color of one’s bag is often personal opinion, but give some thought to the color you pick before pulling the trigger on buying your bag. One of our most requested features for our pistol 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 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.
County 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 works offer an attention to detail that is unmatched in their craft.
Often what people buy tells you about what they support and their beliefs. In the case of our rifle bags 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 experience is hard to come by in factories in China.
Things to look at
Materials should be one of the most important things you look at when considering a bag. Take note of the following:
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.
Fabric is arguably the most important part of your bag. It’s a huge portion of what you buy and 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.
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.
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, or fastex.
Stitching is also very important as it holds the rifle bag together. Standard stitching should be 8 stitches per inch or less along long seems and joints. At special stress points, the process of bartacking (a series of stitches used to reinforce areas) should be done to ensure a strong and secure hold.
These are the key elements to consider when looking to purchase a quality rifle bag. We have taken all of these into consideration and include them in both our 36″ and 42″ rifle case configurations.