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Updated Aug 2, 2022 4:13 PM

A gun case is the best way to safely and securely transport a firearm. You can get a hard case for air travel, a soft case for range use, or maybe a discreet case if you’re the roaming Desperado type. There are so many options, styles, and features to choose from, so finding the best gun case can be challenging. To help you out, we packed up our guns, pretended like we wanted to travel, and found the best gun cases available today.

Methodology

At Task & Purpose, the majority of our review team are either current or former servicemen or hobbyists like me who work in related professions. I’m a former law enforcement officer and lifelong hunter. No matter our profession, we are serious about gear, especially when it comes to gun stuff. We recognize the importance of gun safety and ease of use. We take this approach when we talk about holsters, optics, gun safes, and now gun cases. 

For this guide, I surveyed military personnel, hunters, and other law enforcement officers about the gun cases they use and why. Considering their opinions and my own experiences, I found the best gun cases based on price point, durability, and overall performance in the field — in other words, what I’d want in a gun case. 

Looking for the best gun cases, I searched for the highest-rated and best-selling options by the most popular gun case manufacturers and sellers. After identifying a list of top-tier gun cases, I narrowed my search by reading performance and user reviews. 

When I reviewed performance, I paid close attention to performance and price. I relied on user reviews published on ecommerce sites like Amazon, reviews on independent websites, and my personal experience with the item. If you want to learn more about our review process, check out the Task & Purpose review guidelines.

The Pelican 1745 Air Long Case is the gold standard when it comes to gun cases. While not specifically designed for firearms, it can hold two rifles and their accessories with ease.

The Pelican case is equipped with a Pick N Pluck foam liner, which you can manipulate to fit anything you can dream up. The automatic purge valve regulates air pressure within the case while it keeps dust, grime, and moisture out while you are flying.

The 1745 is also Pelican’s first case to have its Press and Pull Latches. These latches will keep your case secure for the roughest conditions you can throw at it, but will open with ease when you need them to.

As with most other Pelican Cases, the lightweight polymer that is used can keep out just about anything you can throw at it. The durability, customization, and space within the case make the Pelican 1745 the best overall gun case.

Product Specs
  • Case type: Hard case
  • Material: Polyethylene
  • Locking: Yes
  • Purge valve: Yes
PROS

Rugged design and structure

Internal storage allows two rifles and other accessories

Pick and Pluck foam allows you to customize the perfect fit for your gun

TSA-approved

CONS

Heavy empty weight without weapons

Higher price point than others

Larger dimensions than most other cases

The Savior American Classic gun case comes in at our best value. Savior markets this very durable soft case at a $90 price point, but it’s often listed for $10 or $20 less. For a budget price, you get tons of storage space — it’s capable of fitting a lot more than just a rifle — and extra pockets to boot.

The Savior American Classic gun case features a polyester external shell with MOLLE webbing and durable side release buckles. While the interior sleeve and pockets are lined with padding, the external pockets are not. It should go without saying, but you wouldn’t want to store anything you’re too worried about breaking inside of them.

While the American Classic gun case is available in four different lengths, you can fit a whole heck of a lot inside. Obviously, the larger bags will fit more, but with a 42-inch bag, some owners report being able to comfortably store two long guns and two handguns plus ammo and all the range gear they need.

As far as protection goes, the padded interior is equipped with straps and angled pockets at either end of the bag to store a long gun (or long guns), and two large zippered pockets for handguns, all of which are meant to prevent your guns from moving around.

Product Specs
  • Case type: Soft case
  • Material: PVC nylon
  • Locking: Lockable zippers
  • Purge valve: No
PROS

Internal padded sleeves for weapon protection

Lockable external zippers

Lightweight design

External MOLLE webbing for extra attachments

CONS

Lacks protection from blunt force

Lack of external security compared to hard shell cases

Weapon likely to shift while in travel compared to a foam insert

Honorable Mention

When looking for an affordable and reliable gun case, Plano needs to be in the conversation. The Plano AW2 gun case is affordable, especially when you consider the features and quality. The slim design doesn’t take up a lot of space, and it’s what I use to carry my rifle.

The All Weather Gun Case is a rugged and waterproof gun case that complies with TSA standards for air travel. It features a Pluck-To-Fit foam, so you can customize it to fit anything you want as long as it fits inside the case. The Dri-Loc seal keeps the case watertight as a pressure relief valve regulates air pressure. While the case lacks wheels, it’s not very heavy — a mere 12.5 pounds — which eliminates the need for wheels. Also, the case will only hold a single rifle, but the plus side to that is the case has a slimmer profile, making it easier to store and transport.

There are plenty of positives for the Plano AW2, but there are also a couple of drawbacks that keep it from being a top contender for best gun case. The main issue with the Plano AW2 is the latches. Like a lot of other gun cases, its latches aren’t the strongest and some have reported them breaking.

Product Specs
  • Case type: Hard case
  • Material: Polyethylene
  • Locking: Yes
  • Purge valve: Yes
PROS

Rugged design and structure

Internal storage allows one rifle and several accessories

Pluck-To-Fit foam allows optimal customization

Approved for air travel by the TSA

CONS

Weak latches

Weak hinges

Best Rifle Case

The Pelican Vault series goes far beyond your basic gun case. It offers protection for your rifles, handguns, tripods, and much more. The Pelican Vault Series will protect just about anything you need.

The Pelican Vault rifle case is designed to protect firearms in the most austere environments. I know because I’ve used this case for years, and with moderate use, it’s only gotten some minor knicks and scratches. Looking at reviews online, many others have shared similar experiences.

When looking for negatives with the Pelican Vault case, only a few minor details come to mind. The foam, without paying extra, is not a cut-out foam but a Pick N Pluck. As this allows maximal custom fitting, it does lack the security of cut-out foam.

Another drawback is that it’s heavy. It weighs about 25 pounds empty, so when you add in your rifle and gear, it adds up.

Product Specs
  • Case type: Hard case
  • Material: Polyethylene
  • Locking: Yes
  • Purge valve: Yes
PROS

Practically indestructible external shell

Dust proof and purge valve to keep out moisture

Terrific foam for shock absorption

CONS

Foam is not as snug as some cases (cuttable foam is an additional cost)

Heavy empty weight

Best Shotgun Case

More often than not, if you’re buying a shotgun case, you’re taking it into the field with you. So, when we looked for the best shotgun case, we focused on a durable and easy-to-carry shotgun case, and the Tanglefree Flight Series proved to be the most practical of all.

When you’re out in the field duck hunting, there are two ways to carry your rifle. You can literally carry it or you put it in a case and let it float in the water. That’s the major claim with the Tanglefree Flight series shotgun case, and so far it has proven true. Users have reported that it not only floats, but it has also kept their guns dry.

The only drawback is that the simple case bulks up when you fold it, so you end up having to hang the case or stow it in another way.

Product Specs
  • Case type: Soft case
  • Material: Polyester
  • Locking: No
  • Purge valve: No
PROS

Light yet durable design

Cell foam padding for added protection of your shotgun

Will float in water when 12 pounds or less

CONS

Lacks protection to hard falls and crushing to the case

Lacks the ability to be packable (folding into a smaller size)

The Seahorse SE 630 has everything you will need for your handguns, all in one case. The external rugged polymer shell provides excellent drop and crush protection while the foam insert further protects your handgun. The durable hinges, latches, and the handle ensure the safe passage of your weapons from point A to point B, providing excellent protection for your pistols.

The biggest draw to the SE 630 is the storage capacity. Users report the ability to store up to four handguns, 12 magazines, and other gear. That’s a ton of space. Many also consistently praise the durability of the hard polyethylene case, and the foam inserts will keep your gear snug.

However, there is one major drawback. The foam insert to the case is pre-molded to a one-size-fits-most style mold. While duty pistols like the Glock 19 will work great, you’re out of luck if you want to store your Wyatt Earp-style Peacemaker.

Product Specs
  • Case type: Hard case
  • Material: Polyethylene
  • Locking: Yes
  • Purge valve: No
PROS

Rugged hinges and latches (that other cases lack)

Internal storage allows 4 handguns,12 magazines, and ammo

Crush, water, and dust protection

CONS

Higher price point than other pistol cases

One foam insert for all cases

High cost

What to consider when buying gun cases

There are currently several different types of gun cases on the market today. Each gun case has its own features and benefits to assist you in keeping your weapons secure and safe. Gun cases are made with a polymer, nylon, or sometimes metal exterior with an internal padding system, whether that be foam or a different type of padding to keep the weapons safe.

Types of gun cases

While gun cases are sized to fit specific firearm types like handguns or long guns, they’re organized by the materials used to make the case, the number of guns it can hold, and whether it looks like a gun case. 

Hard shell case

A hard gun case offers the most protection out of all the types of gun cases. They’re constructed from either metal or a durable polymer shell, and the interior is lined with foam padding. Together, they protect the contents from environmental threats and impact. Compared to a soft case, a hard case is bulkier, but it’s a must if you plan on traveling with a firearm. 

Soft shell case

A soft shell gun case is meant for quick access and flexibility, such as range or hunting trips. They’re made out of materials like nylon, polyester, and leather with some padding. Additionally, soft cases offer a range of storage options. You can find simple designs that just carry a gun and others with multiple pockets for magazines and other gear. 

Multi-gun case

A multi-gun case is not limited to being a hard or soft shell, but rather a design that’s large enough to carry multiple firearms. 

Discreet gun case

Gun cases that don’t look like gun cases are growing in popularity. More often than not, they’re referred to as discreet gun cases. Sometimes they’re shaped like a guitar case, violin case, tennis bag, or just a backpack. 

Key features of a gun case

Materials

The type of materials used to make a gun case depends entirely on the type of case. Hard gun cases use either metal or polymer for the exterior and foam padding for the interior. Soft gun cases come in nylon, polymer, or leather with some cushion lining the interior. 

TSA compliance

If you want to travel by plane with your firearm, you’ll need a case that complies with standards set by the Transportation Security Administration. According to TSA rules, your firearm needs to be packed in a locked hard-sided container. That translates as a hard-sided case that you can secure with a lock like a padlock. 

Pricing for gun cases 

Gun cases are priced all over the place. For less than $25, you’ll find simple designs like a handgun pouch or plastic box, and lightly padded cases for long guns. 

At $25 to $100, you’ll find more storage space, better quality materials, and more features. However, you may need to sacrifice one or two characteristics for the other. Typically, you’ll be able to find a decent quality single-gun case. 

If you spend $100 or more, you won’t have to make many sacrifices, or you’re paying for something highly specialized like a discreet gun case or high-end materials.

FAQs about gun cases

You’ve got questions. Task & Purpose has answers.

Q: What type of gun cases are TSA-approved?

A: If you plan to travel with a firearm, the TSA requires you use a lockable hard-sided case. They also require that you check the bag and store ammunition separately. See the TSA guidelines here

Q: Do guns come with a case?

A: It depends on the manufacturer. Most handguns are sold inside of a case, but most rifles and shotguns are not.

Task & Purpose and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Learn more about our product review process.

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