13 Best Gun Cases [2019 Hands-On]: Soft, Hard, & Covert

Not sure the best gun case to properly store and transfer your guns?

We’ve tried almost all of them out there…

Gun Cases and Gun Bags
Some of Our Gun Cases and Gun Bags

Here are some that we still keep and use to bring our pistols, rifles, and shotguns to the range.

From soft to hard cases…and even some covert ones…we’ll cover them all.

Table of Contents

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1. Savior Equipment Rifle Bags

Let’s start with some rifle bags.

Relatively new but after I kept seeing Savior Equipment ($50) at the range…I had to try them out for myself.

Savior Equipment Rifle Bags
Savior Equipment Rifle Bags

There’s two primary flavors…one with three pouches in the front…and one with some molle and two pouches on the side.  Personal preference but I like the more streamlined look of the molle.

I usually put my ammo and accessories in range bags and try to keep my rifle bags light.

Savior Equipment, Front
Savior Equipment, Front

They are built much better than random gun show bags…so they are a little heavier.  And the stitching and zippers seem like they will last a long time.

The backpack straps are also well-padded for the arduous trek of bringing my rifles to the shooting bench, lol.

Savior Equipment, Straps
Savior Equipment, Straps

But I’d still be ok with bringing this on a longer precision shooting course where I’ll actually be trekking in the mountains.

Savior Equipment, Worn
Savior Equipment, Worn

Besides the two variants…they also come in different colors and lengths.

Different Savior Equipment Models
Different Savior Equipment Models

The gray one in front is the shortest at 36″ which should fit all 16″ AR-15s and AKs with adjustable buttstocks.

Savior Equipment, AK Full Length
Savior Equipment, AK Full Length

There’s two padded sections so you can hold two scoped rifles.  And I like that there’s a fairly large section (not including the pouches) in the front too where I keep loose scopes or mags.

Savior Equipment, Two Compartments
Savior Equipment, Two Compartments

Make sure to measure for your bolt guns since you’ll probably need 42″ or 46″ versions.

Here’s the pouch version:

57
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

And the sleeker molle version (my favorite):

EDITOR'S PICK: SOFT RIFLE BAG
55
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

2. NcStar VISM Rifle Bag & Shooting Mat

Ok…stay with me here.

Usually run away from NcStar (especially optics)…but their VISM Rifle Bag ($56) is pretty good!

NcStar VISM Gun Case and Shooting Mat
NcStar VISM Gun Case and Shooting Mat

I’ve used it regularly for 7 years and although it’s a bit thin to be truly protecting of a nice rifle…it doubles as a great shooting mat.

VISM Shooting Mat
VISM Shooting Mat

Well thought out pouches, clear sections for your dope, and ammo holders.

The straps aren’t the best so I wouldn’t bring it on a long hunting trip…but it’s perfect for the range or short courses.

If you want to get into long range and consolidate your rifle bag and shooting mat…this is the way to go.

BEST BAG & MAT COMBO
56
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

3. Guitar Gig Bag

Now we’re going discreet.

I started off with an acoustic guitar case when I only had one or two rifles.  It had decent protection and the shoulder straps helped lugging my guns to the range.

EDITOR'S PICK: DISCREET BAG
25
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

I eventually broke the straps and also had to bring more than two rifles…

4. Tennis Bags

Oh yes…tennis bags.

Especially multi-compartment tennis bags.

Tennis Bag Gun Case
Tennis Bag Gun Case

I had a lot of uppers and lowers which broke down perfectly into my triple compartment Wilson Tennis Bag ($54).

I had to use some t-shirts and rags as protection…but it was so easy to be discreet and carry multiple ARs.

Wilson Tennis Bag
Wilson Tennis Bag

Also has shoulder straps but since you’re carrying a lot more weight than rackets…it’s not going to be fun if you really have to ruck it.

54
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

5. Plano Rifle Cases

Let’s go hard…

Hard Gun Cases
Hard Gun Cases

The Plano Rifle Case ($39) is a good start to a hard case and most likely better than what came with your rifle.

Stock Hard Rifle Case, Open
Stock Hard Rifle Case, Open

Lockable with decent foam…but I’d probably opt for something hardier if you’re bringing it on a flight.

Also be sure to check if it will fit your scope and rifle combination.

Otherwise…great for storage and bringing to the range.

39
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

6. Plano All Weather Hard Case

If you’re looking for something tougher in their catalog…Plano’s All-Weather case is perfect.  And more affordable than the current gold standard.

BEST VALUE HARD CASE
70
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

7. Pelican Rifle Case

And that gold standard is…Pelican Rifle Cases ($199+).

Pelican 1700
Pelican 1700

There’s a couple different models but if you’re bringing an AR or something else that can be broken down…I like the Pelican 1700 ($199).

It’s rock solid (waterproof, crush-proof, and dust-proof) and rolls.  Plus has a pressure equalization valve.

Pelican 1700 Rolling
Pelican 1700 Rolling

The inside foam can be cut to fit anything.  Inside dimensions are 35.75 x 13.50 x 5.25.

Pelican 1700 with DTA SRS
Pelican 1700 with DTA SRS
EDITOR'S PICK: HARD RIFLE CASE
199
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

And for multiple guns or longer rifles…check out the Pelican 1720 ($259) at 42 x 13.5 x 5.25 and the Pelican 1750 ($245) at 50.5 x 13.5 x 5.25.

What’s your take on Pelican cases?

Readers' Ratings

4.97/5 (218)

Your Rating?

8.  Uncle Mike’s Pistol Rug

Let’s move into pistols.

Soft pistol cases give your guns adequate protection just going to and from the range.

They are also fairly nondescript if you get something without huge logos.  And the logo is one big reason I don’t like using the factory boxes that most handguns come with…no need to advertise that you have a firearm.

Our go-to is Uncle Mike’s ($9).

9
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

The medium size will fit 3-4″ revolvers and most semi-auto guns with 4-5″ barrels.

If you have something larger…they also have the Large Version ($9) for up to 7.5″ barrel revolvers.

9. 5.11 Tactical Pistol Case

Nondescript and with helpful magazine pockets.  The 5.11 Tactical Case ($29) is our go-to for single pistol case.

EDITOR'S PICK: SOFT PISTOL CASE
29
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

10. Pew Pew Tactical Handgun Case

However one thing that always bothered me is the inability to be small, discreet, dead sexy, AND fit a light.

That’s why we designed our own Pew Pew Tactical Handgun Case ($16) that will fit almost all full-sized handguns with a torch.

PPT Handgun Case with SP-01
PPT Handgun Case with SP-01

If you don’t have a pistol light yet…check out our hands-on review of the Best Pistol Lights.

Best Pistol Lights
Best Pistol Lights

11. MTM Hard Pistol Cases

A budget-minded and discreet hard case with no logos would be the MTM Single ($9) which holds up to a 6″ revolver and is slightly more robust than most factory boxes.  You can also get the MTM Double ($15) to hold up to two 8″ revolvers.

MTM Single Handgun Case
MTM Single Handgun Case

12. GPS Handgunner Backpack

The GPS Handgunner ($95) is a combo range-bag and handgun case for those of you who bring a bunch of pistols to the range only.

I’ve seen a couple of these during USPSA competitions and the owners all rave about them since you can carry multiple handguns, a LOT of mags, and it’s easy to huff around since it’s a backpack.

BEST MULTIPLE HANDGUN CASE
95
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

13. Pelican Pistol Case

The Pelican 1200 ($38) is the smallest I would go since it can still fit a pistol and a mag or two.

The internal dimensions are 9.25 x 7.12 x 4.12 inches and the case contains Pick N’Pluck foam for you to form your own shapes without the need to cut foam.

Pelican 1400 with Pistol
Pelican 1400 with Pistol

We suggest always going a size larger than you think so you can accommodate more magazines, ammo, or even a second pistol.

Pelican 1500
Pelican 1500

The Pelican 1500 ($100) can hold 4-5 pistols, especially when they are loaded in vertically.

140
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Plus there’s custom foam ($75).

Pelican 1500 with Custom Foam
Pelican 1500 with Custom Foam

Conclusion

So there you have it, our recommendations for best gun cases.

Really, your factory case will do fine, but for me, I just don’t like having the big logos that advertise you have a gun.

Also if you are traveling or have expensive scopes, you’re going to want better protection from a hard case, with Pelican being the gold standard.

Some Tested Range Bags
Some Tested Range Bags

What’s your preference…hard, soft, or discreet?  Also be sure to check out our Best Gun Range Bags for the best ammo and tool toting bags out there to combo with your new gun case.

30 Leave a Reply

  • Patrick

    I like Allen for soft cases, especially the U.S. made ones. I have several different hard cases and I do really like my Pelicans, but if you're on a budget look at Flambeau or the Harbor Freight cases. Flambeau is less than half that of a Pelican or even a Plano and really nice cases. Buy Kaizen Foam from FastCap.com and you can customize your own cases. The HF cases are good for taking to the range, dust and water protection, but I wouldn't drive over them with your truck. HF likes to compare them to Pelican but they aren't in the same league. That being said they are not bad for the price. I keep my Garmin GPS in one and it's great.

    2 weeks ago
  • maurice Lewis

    Is the PewPew Tactical handgun case lockable?

    1 month ago
  • Jeff

    Thank you for the article. I found the Plano hard cases to be great for my needs.

    2 months ago
  • Don

    The Apache rifle case is excellent from Harbor Freight. On sale for $99 or sometimes $109 it is an amazing deal on a Pelican-like case for less. Great seal, great wheels and plenty long for a rifle or two and even extra mags and goodies. I’ll also add for ammo storage ammo cans are great, but so are their other Apache cases (smaller sizes) when on sale.

    6 months ago
    • Joel Harrison

      I agree 100%! I bought one during the sale, and it is every bit as good as the pelican for a fraction of the cost.

      6 months ago
  • Wyomick

    Please explain to me why all of the hard side pre-cut out foam cases have the scope bearing all the weight of the rifle when you pick it up by the handle. In many of them, the foam inserts do not reverse. I personally want my scope under the handle when carrying and especially if the airlines are going to be throwing it around in baggage on the hinge side. I've got more money in my scopes than I do in the rifles.

    7 months ago
    • Mark

      Order your own foam insert from mycasebuilder.com. I saw them at the NRA Annual Meeting and was impressed. You can get a customized for insert for relatively cheap.

      1 month ago
  • Ron Riley

    Recently, Harbor Freight, started carrying Hard cases with pick apart foam interior. VERY REASONABLE. If you subscribe to their emails, you can get discount coupons for their cases on occasion. They are the equivalent of Pelican cases. The brand name is APACHE. I own 3 Pelican double rifle cases. For comparison.

    9 months ago
    • David, PPT Editor

      I've been meaning to order a couple of those, thanks for the reminder!

      9 months ago
  • Patrick

    I use a Wilson XL tennis racket bag for my folded Kel Tec SU-16C, fits perfectly, tough case, and pulls out ready to go. Makes people far less nervous coming and going to places.

    9 months ago
  • Duke Aquaro

    That was / is a great review. Especially the tennis bag! What a great idea! Thanks!

    9 months ago
  • Scott hannah

    Great article.I Have bought a condor bag I like it.It will hold 2 bolt action rifles well.the Velcro patches are solid.the only thing about the bag I still can't figure out is what goes in the long skinny external pouches?.I can get spotting scope some ammo ear/protection in the other pouches.The zippers are large tooth so no snaaging on it self.It is more $$ than the flat type type bags you review.The other bags I have stayed away from are the field line bags.the material just seems weird like not even e backpack type cloth.They don't identify it on the tags.

    9 months ago
  • Ryan

    Great article as always. My brother and I have four Savior bags and have been pretty hard on them. So far they have held up perfect. They are very comfortable as a backpack.. My new favorite hard case is from CaseClub. It came precut for Ruger Precision Rifle and can hold an additional AR rifle in the other half. The case is built like a tank and has some pretty good weight to it. So far, I think it’s every bit as good and maybe a bit better than the Pelican cases we have (bold statement for sure).

    9 months ago
    • Eric Hung

      Thanks Ryan! Great to hear you like the Savior bags too. I'll have to check out Case Club in the future.

      9 months ago
  • Jack Danner

    Eric, enjoyed the article. I use one of several Pelican case I own when I travel by commercial airlines. I wouldn’t use any other case. They keep you firearms safe and of course secure when padlocked. There is much misinformation on gun case advertisements concerning TSA rules and Federal law. Many of these adds try to convince the buyer to also buy a TSA approved lock. They insinuate TSA locks are necessary. You should write an article explaining that Fedreal Law requires the gun owner to be the only person that is able to unlock the gun case. No one but the person checking the firearm is allowed to access it. If TSA wants to look at the firearm/s by law they must have the owner present and open the case, inspect it then the case is relocked and the key remains in control of the gun owner. It is actually against Federal Law for a gun owner to give another person a key to the case or allow someone else access to their firearm. When you think about it, this makes perfect sense. That is why when checking firearms I always wait around and may even check with TSA to see if they need to look at my gun before I go ahead through security. I have never had an issue traveling by air with a firearm. Just put the locked Pelican case inside your luggage. Check the large bag and declare the firearm that is in the locked Pelican case. The airline agent will give you a ticket to sign, stating you have adhered to the law., they will ask to see the locked case inside your larger bag. They will then put a red sticker on it saying there is a firearm inside. Make sure mags are empty and removed from the gun/s. It is ok to have boxed ammo up to 11 pounds for most airlines inside the locked gun case. The ammo does not have to be in a separate location. The last time I traveled the gate agent said to me “boy everyone is traveling with their six shooter today”! Hope this is useful info. I started carrying when traveling alone for business I had a flat in my rental car at midnight on a black rainy night on I 10 out in the middle of nowhere in S Texas. No one was aware of my schedule or where I was staying that night. That started me thinking... I apologize for the grammatical errors! Jack D

    9 months ago
    • Eric Hung

      Thanks Jack! We have an article on How to Fly with a Gun that covers everything like what you mentioned with the lock. I'll also advise people to check with their airline regarding specific ammo and mag rules.

      9 months ago
  • Tsingtao

    I just use a box of roses like Terminator.

    9 months ago
    • Eric Hung

      Lol, fancy AND quick access.

      9 months ago
  • Billy

    For range trips I use a....reusable grocery bag. Of course the handgun is safely stored in its plastic case, I don't throw it directly in the grocery bag. Sorry to crash the party folks. I like the Pelican but they ain't cheap, maybe a Plano would do the trick.

    9 months ago
    • Eric Hung

      As long as it works!

      9 months ago
  • Jeff

    Midway USA offers very nice soft rifle cases (with their name embroidered on them) that are made with medium & heavy style canvas material plus excellent padding for very reasonable pricing. Especially when they have them on sale and offer free S/H for sales over $49 or $99. Brownell's also offers several nice tactical rifle soft cases. MTM makes some very nice plastic pistol cases too for trips to the range.

    9 months ago
    • Eric Hung

      Cool, thanks for your recs Jeff. I'll have to check out the Brownells and Midway ones.

      9 months ago
  • Stephen B.

    Eric, you didn't mention the Plano Airglide. It facilitates rifles up to 50" with large objective scopes mounted AND bipods. All this protection for about $45.

    9 months ago
    • Eric Hung

      Oh, I'll have to try that out!

      9 months ago
  • jfertig

    Hi, new at multi-firearm ownership & NRA. Not a fan of advertising either as I live in a small apartment in an old building with other elderly senior citizens. Did buy from Amazon.com both locked hard storage and locked soft transportation to target range. Did take my lead from Eric H. at what to look for during my on-line ''hunt for stuff''. Thanks to all for your comments at Pew Pew Tactical.

    1 year ago
  • Jerry

    I use a Samsonite briefcase for going to the range. It holds my G19 in it's hard case, ammo and safety equipment

    1 year ago
  • George

    I bought the 42" Plano case on Amazon for $45. Five latches, 2 with locks or use your own and pretty decent construction. It's a little longer and heavier than what I needed, but you can't beat it at that price.

    1 year ago
  • Chris

    For my long guns I have two economy-level Plano cases, and a Contico hard case I got on sale super cheap from Cabela's years ago. For handguns, mine always get transported in compartments in my range bag designed for storing guns, or in a separate soft case in the main compartment. That works pretty well for me, though I'm thinking of getting a soft rifle case or two, just for the convenience of being able to sling them over my shoulder when I go to the range. Personally, unless I were going to transport my guns by air (or otherwise have them in a situation where they could get seriously knocked around, or spend time exposed to the elements), I don't have much use for anything more expensive than an economy-level plastic case. Those Pelican cases sure are pretty, but beyond their being cool, I'd have a hard time coming up with a justification for buying one. Plus hard cases are just so dang heavy. Carrying a couple of rifle cases, a range bag, a stack of targets, and a portable shooting rest into the range is already awkward enough.

    1 year ago
  • Robert

    I bought the Pelican 1170 for my M&P full size . It fits the pistol and 2 extra mags just fine. I'm a minimalist and like how well it fit in my luggage without adding unnecessary additional weight..

    2 years ago
  • Brian Smith

    All good but you forgot the GPS backpack. So awesome

    2 years ago
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