Determining what size soft rifle case to buy is one of the most popular topics we talk about with our potential rifle case customers. Since we offer two sizes of our tactical rifle cases and two sizes in our covert rifle case lineup, we want to make sure our customers get the case that will work best for them.
If you’re in the market for a new soft rifle case, here are a few things to consider when doing your research.
Overall Length (OAL)
When determining which size rifle to buy, the most important part is knowing the overall length of the rifles you plan to carry. To get this number, you’ll need to take a tape measure and measure from the end of the buttstock to the muzzle of each firearm.
A lot of people, including us, make the assumption their rifle will fit based on barrel length alone. That’s not the case. Many rifles are built to “Mil-Spec”, or military specification, which means they are often similar in overall length. That’s why we say most 16″ barrel rifles will fit into our 36″ Tactical Rifle case. Although, some aftermarket muzzle breaks and stocks can get a little long. We recommend double-checking with a tape measure.
Often our customers want a bit more space for their competition rifles which can come in at 18″-22″ barrels depending on the build.
The second most important question we ask is: What type of buttstock is on your rifle? Typically when we say 16″ barrel length, we assume you are using a collapsible buttstock on your rifle.
But if you are using a fixed stock with a 16″ barrel, your OAL will probably require our 42″ Tactical Rifle Case. It’s not always the case, but we have found that, more often than not, a fixed stock will change the bag length you will require.
Rifle Accessories and Width
Many people are getting into the wild and wonderful world of suppressors. I personally don’t even run unsuppressed rifles anymore since I don’t see the benefit of not having them suppressed. This is a MAJOR factor to consider when choosing which case you want to purchase.
We most likely don’t currently offer a case that will allow you to leave your suppressor on a 16″ barrel rifle (unless you are using a law folder). But if you have a short barrel rifle (SBR) or an AR pistol, you may be able to leave the suppressor on and secure it in your rifle case. I am able to store my Noveske Gen1 10.5 SBR with a full AAC 7.62 SDN-6 suppressor in the 42″ Tactical Rifle Case without removing the suppressor.
Another thing, most buyers don’t consider when researching rifle cases is the width of their firearms accessories. For example, someone with an EoTech holographic site is going to have a wider rifle than someone with an Aimpoint T-2.
But the way our rifle cases are made, optics aren’t going to be an issue. The only thing that might present an issue is the handguard mounted accessories.
A better example would be someone running a Surefire or Streamlight flashlight or a PEQ-15. These add bulk to the handguard but will really only affect the ability to strap your rifle into the bag. That’s why we include three separate strap areas while many of our competitor’s cases only included two.
So What Size Rifle Case Will Work For You?
That’s really up to you and your needs. Personally, I always carry my 42″ Tactical Rifle Case as it provides enough space for any of the rifles I currently own even if they are outfitted with a suppressor. However, I live in a rural area where people don’t see me packing up to head to the range. If I lived in a more urban environment and wanted to stay under the radar, I’d pick something from the Urban Legend Series to meet my needs.