Best Rifle Case Review in 2018 – [DETAILED]

by G Fretwell0Posted in Rifle Accessory ReviewsShareTweet+1Pin

Let’s be honest. Most of you probably own a rifle and scope combo that is worth a few thousand dollars, however it is neglected and stored in a $50 plastic case with cheap foam.

Does this sound like you?

The best rifle case will not only protect your gun and scope from damage but it will save you precious moments by not having to zero in your scope time after time.

I’m not saying that you necessarily have to spend $500 on a top of the line Pelican hard rifle case with all the bells and whistles.

I am only suggesting that you do some research into finding out what quality rifle cases are out there before buying the cheap one from Cabela’s. 

Rifle CasePriceRating
Pelican Hard Case$$$
Uncle Mike’s Law Enforcement Tactical$
Plano All Weather Tactical Hard Case$$
Plano Single Rifle Hard Case$
Bulldog Soft Long Rifle Case$
SKB Break-down Shotgun Case$$
VISM Soft Tactical Gun Case$$

Before you go out and buy a rifle case, I wanted to provide you with a bit of a guide to help determine what the best rifle case is for you.

There are a ton of different gun cases out there; hard plastic, soft, lockable, travel, metal, big, small, you name it!

A high quality rifle case is part of proper gun safety but I guarantee you that it will extend the useful life of your firearm and protect it from getting scratched and dented during transportation and between uses. 

Types of Rifle Cases

Rifle cases come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. The 2 basic types of gun cases are hard sided and soft sided. I will provide you with some of the main differences in terms of style and function as well as the advantages and disadvantages to each type of gun case. 

Hard Gun Cases

Hard Gun Case
Best Hard Gun Case

Hard-sided rifle cases are extremely durable and offer the highest level of protection for your firearm. Inside a hard rifle case will be some sort of foam that your rifle will actually be pressed against. A low end hard sided case may have a thin layer of foam that may not actually provide the level of protection that you require. If you put your rifle inside the case, then go to pick it up after closing it, and you can feel or hear the rifle shift, you probably haven’t spent enough on the rifle case. A high quality hard case will come with a thick layer of dense foam and will offer the best protection for your firearm. Some cases even come with custom, or customizable foam that will provide a perfect fit for your rifle. One of the main downsides with a hard case is that they will be bulkier and heavier than a soft case. If you are just looking for some protection for your air rifle or plinker, perhaps consider a $50 Plano rifle case. 

Hard gun cases come in different materials which will mean that they will all protect and perform differently. A cheap Plano gun case may be made out of plastic and will meet the very basic requirements of gun protection and storage for your .22 plinker. There are other composite materials such as a fiber reinforced compound found on military or tactical gun cases. Aluminum rifle cases are also very popular because they are strong and durable but also very lightweight. 

Soft Gun Cases

Soft-sided rifle cases have their place and purpose. They are very versatile and likely cheaper than a hard gun case however they won’t offer the same type of protection that their counterpart would. Soft gun cases can be made out of a bunch of different types of materials; everything from leather, nylon, and neoprene. The biggest advantages of soft rifle cases is their relatively low cost and their lightweight construction making them perfect for those of you who plan on doing a lot of long distance hunting trips. Some soft gun cases are also waterproof which makes it a great addition to those waterfowl hunters out there. Remember that a waterproof gun case not only keep waters out, but it also traps water in! Don’t learn the hard way – make sure to dry out your case after each use before storing your gun.  

Choosing between a hard case and a soft case for your firearm is difficult. Most hunters and shooters will own multiple of each type of case not only because they have a few different firearms, but because each case comes in handy for different situations. If I am going to the range with a few buddies, I will pack my .308  in a hard case because I know I am likely to throw it in the back of a pickup and it will bounce around on the back roads. If I’m packing my 17 HMR for my son when hunting varmint, I can just as easily get away with using a soft case because they have the benefit of being lightweight and the rifle won’t need to withstand constant abuse. 

Soft Rifle Case
Best Soft Gun Case

Tactical Rifle Case

Tactical gun cases, typically for your AR or other tactical weapon, come in either hard or soft sided styles an in different levels of quality and of course, in varying price ranges. Most tactical rifle cases used by military or law enforcement, are soft cases made out of a lightweight but strong polyester with reinforced webbing and high tensile thread. They are built with a heavily padded interior for protection during transport and storage and come in a variety of colors including black, brown, green, and full camo. Some models of tactical rifle cases even unfold and double as a fully padded shooting mat. Although this feature definitely benefits military personnel in combat situations,  it is also quite useful for the shooting range. 

Tactical Gun Case
Best Tactical Gun Case
Tactical Gun Case Review

TSA Approved Gun Case

Transporting your firearm on an airline can be a difficult and frustrating process. Make sure you do your research before bringing a weapon anywhere near an airport. The Air Transport Association (ATA) and the Transport Security Administration (TSA) have specific rules and guidelines for transporting firearms and ammunition. I am not even going to pretend like I am an expert on traveling gun cases for airlines and I will not give specific advise around it. Rules and regulations can change and differ from time to time so be sure to check back before transporting your rifle on any airline.

Now, after all the warnings, there are gun cases out there specifically made for air travel and that are TSA approved. TSA approved gun cases will cost you a premium, however it is a necessary premium if you plan on transporting firearms on an airplane. They will be hard sided and lockable and make sure to buy one that feels solid with large enough holes for a heavy duty padlock. 

Custom Gun Cases

Custom gun cases are designed to fit perfectly with the rifle that you purchase it for. I am not meaning custom in terms of your local gunsmith building you a custom hard case with their own hands. I mean you can purchase a hard gun case that was built specifically for most guns out there. Let’s pretend that you own a Remington 30-06 Whitetail Pro Model 770. You can go out and purchase a hard case that has custom foam designed to fit perfectly with your rifle which means that the foam is cut out in the exact shape, offering better protection in the tighter fit. 

You can also buy gun cases that allow you to customize the interior by yourself. You can pull out foam squares so that you can create an interior that fits pretty well with your rifle and scope combo. Remember that the golden rule usually applies – higher priced cases are usually better quality. 

Double Gun Case

Buying a double gun case is a great way to save money. Double rifle cases come in both hard and soft sided versions so it is a matter of personal preference when deciding between the two. There are a bunch of different styles of double gun cases and you can even get a tactical double gun case that straps to your back for ease of transportation while hiking or hunting in the bush. 

Double Gun Case Best
Best Double Gun Case
Double Gun Case

Double gun cases can also be TSA approved however make sure that you check with the manufacturer to guarantee that it is a TSA approved gun case before you purchase it. 

Floating Gun Case (Waterfowl Gun Case)

Floating gun cases or waterproof gun cases are often used for duck or goose hunting. Waterfowl hunters sometimes prefer a floating gun case when out on a pond or walking through marsh lands to make sure they don’t loose their Benelli shotgun. Just because your gun case is waterproof doesn’t mean it floats – make sure you know before testing it. Waterfowl gun cases sometimes have zipperless neoprene construction so your shotgun will slide in from the top.  

Cheap Gun Case

You can definitely find good cheap gun cases however they are few and far between. Plano is a brand that comes to mind and who builds decent cheap gun cases. You can find them in either hard or soft models however I would offer one piece of advice. Don’t buy a cheap hard case if this is your first case. Spend the money and buy quality. You will be much happier with the product and it will offer much better protection for your gun. You can find cheap soft sided gun cases that are of decent quality. 

Best Rifle Case Review

Pelican Protect Rifle Case Hard Review

Alright if you’ve done any research on finding the best rifle case, I can guarantee you that you’ve come across the brand Pelican. Pelican makes some of the highest quality rifle cases on the market and they come in all sizes with different features depending on the model that you choose. All Pelican cases are extremely tough and durable, offering the best protection for your gun. The feature water-proof, crush-proof, and dust-proof construction so you can be confident that your rifle is in good hands. 

They are smooth and easy to open, and have tough latches for added durability. Pelican cases are watertight through the use of a tongue and groove fit and polymer o-ring and they come with a Automatic Pressure Equalization Valve which releases built up pressure without letting water in. 

If you care about your rifle, and you have the money to spend, do yourself a favor and buy a hard sided Pelican case. These cases outperform the competition and are guaranteed to offer better protection for your rifle, which keeps them looking new and improves the shooting performance. You cannot get a better hard case for the money. Trust in Pelican. You get what you pay for. 

Pelican 1750 Protect Case Hard 50.5X13.5X5


-Hard case with custom foam
-3 layers of protective foam
-Thick plastic exterior
-Dimensions: 50.50″ x 13.50″ x 5.25″

Uncle Mike’s Law Enforcement Tactical Rifle Case Review

Don’t feel bad – I hadn’t heard of the Uncle Mike’s brand until recently either. Brand name aside, this soft tactical style military case is solid. With durable construction including heavy duty stitching and built using coated and padded 600 denier woven fabric, this tactical case can withstand the toughest conditions. Although built for AR or M4 type rifles, this case will accept any type of firearm that is under 43″ long. In fact, I have used a tactical style case like this one for transporting and storing my .17 hmr rifle combo. Just make sure that it will fit length wise before buying it. 

Everyone should have at least one tactical style soft case for their AR 15. Not only does it look cool, it is very functional. With 5 ammo pockets on the side, you can easily pack all the supplies you need when going hunting or shooting. For the price that these are selling for on Amazon, it would be a crime not to buy one. It will come in handy even if you don’t have the AR rifle today. 

Uncle Mike's Law Enforcement 43-Inch AR15 M4 Tactical Rifle Case


-Soft sided tactical case
-5 ammo pouches
-Heavy duty stitching
-Dimensions: 43″ x 10″

Plano Molding Company All Weather Tactical Gun Case Review

Plano makes some cheap cases that I would suggest are only sufficient for your kid’s air rifle, but they also make some higher quality rifle cases that I would trust any of my rifles in. The Plano Molding Company All Weather Tactical Gun case offers a great alternative to some of the more expensive options out there from Pelican. This Plano product is waterproof and comes with a pressure release valve and customizable foam inserts. The foam inserts are pretty cool. All you need to do is tear out some so that it forms the shape of your rifle. Although it won’t be a perfectly tight fit, it does a pretty good job. 

The Plano All Weather Tactical hard gun case is a great option and for the money, offers comparable protection to that of some of its higher quality competitors such as Pelican. If you are looking for the best gun case, however don’t have the wallet for Pelican, the Plano Tactical gun case is a good option. 

Plano Molding Company All Weather Tactical Gun Case


-Tough, durable, tactical case
-Customizable foam inserts
-Air-tight seal
-Dimensions: 43″ x 13″ x 5″

Plano Gun Guard Single Rifle Case Review

This is a Plano hard case that I wouldn’t suggest storing anything of extreme value in. Plano does make some decent quality tactical cases that offer superior protection, however this Plano single gun case is on the lower end of the quality scale. With that being said, I own 2 of them and have been very happy with their performance and protection for air rifles and some odd .22s that I have laying around. I wound’t store my $5,000 double barrel shotgun in the Plano case, however it does a fine job of protecting some of my other rifles. 

Looking for a cheap hard rifle case? Plano single rifle case is your best option. Don’t expect it to offer a tight fit in the foam that is provided. You will probably notice that when you close the case, you will feel a bit of slippage but that is expected for the price of the rifle case. 

Plano Gun Guard SE Single Rifle Case


-Hard case with standard foam protection
-Single rifle only
-Padlock tabs for added protection
-Dimensions: 45″ x 7″ x 3″

Bulldog Economy Black Scoped Rifle Case Review

Looking for the best long rifle soft case? Look no further than the Bulldog Black Scoped Rifle Case. It comes in a few different lengths depending on the length of your firearm and its durable water resistant outer shell offers decent protection. Tough on the outside, but soft on the inside to protect your baby from scratches, the Bulldog Soft Rifle Case is a great buy if you are looking for a traditional style soft rifle case. It has room to fit both the rifle and the scope and will also accept shotguns. What I like most about a soft gun case like this one is the versatility. I can drop my long range rifle in it one day, and the next I can swap it out with my shotgun when going out to shoot waterfowl with the boys. 

Bulldog Economy Black Scoped Rifle Case with Black Trim


-Soft-sided long rifle case
-Durable construction with heavy duty material
-Water resistant 
-Dimensions: various available

SKB Break-down Shotgun Soft Case Review

This is a unique case for a breakdown shotgun that combines some of the benefits of a soft case with some of the benefits of a hard case. If offers solid construction and foam protection while allowing the portability of a nylon bag. Note that this shotgun case only will accept 1 breakdown shotgun and a barrel that is up to 32″ long. 

If you are looking for a break-down shotgun case, do yourself a favor and buy the SKB Break-Down Shotgun Case from Amazon today. For the money, it can’t be beat. 

SKB Break-down Shotgun Soft Case


-Breakdown shotgun case
-Durable construction
-Dimensions: 34″ x 9″ x 5.5″

VISM by NcStar Gun Case Review

One of the best selling soft tactical rifle cases, the VISM Gun Case is made out of tough PVC material, contains high density foam for added protection, and has heavy duty zippers for security and accessibility. This bad boy is solid and looks bad ass! Perfect for anyone looking for a tactical soft case for their AR. 

VISM by NcStar Gun Case


-Tactical soft case
-5 ammunition pouches
-Durable construction
-Dimensions: 40″ x 12.5″

Best Gun Case Conclusion

Buying the best rifle case doesn’t have to be difficult. You need to know about the differences between the types of gun cases available and then compare it to your needs. The best gun cases will protect your firearm and add years onto its life. It will also enhance performance because if you get a solid hard case, you won’t constantly have to adjust and readjust your scope because of it getting bumped around during transport or storage. 

The best hard rifle case hands down goes to Pelican. They build awfully tough cases that offer superior protection. Although they will cost your more than some of the competitors such as Plano, the money will be worth it! The case will last forever and it will protect your firearm from getting scratched and will reduce the amount of time you have to spend dialing in the scope after you put the gun in the back of your pickup truck. 

If you are looking for the best soft case for your rifle, buy the Bulldog Blacked Scope Rifle Case. It is a traditional style soft case that will fit your long rifle or shotgun with ease. It is durable, water resistant, and built out of tough material with a soft inside. 

Make sure to check out our post on buying the best gun safe here!

Stay safe and happy shooting! 

G Fretwell

Gary Fretwell Is A 33-Year-Old Die Hard Hunter And Blogger From Wyoming. After Serving In Iraq, He Finished School To Become An Asset Protection Officer And Currently Is Learning To Be A Tracker To Help Hunters Like Himself Find Big Game!ShareTweet+1Pin

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