18 Best Gun Cases [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.

AR-15 in Cedar Mill Guitar Gun Case
AR-15 in Cedar Mill Guitar Covert Gun Case

Best Gun Cases

1. Savior Equipment Rifle Bags

Let’s start with some rifle bags.

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

Well…it’s been over 3 years now. And they are still my favorite go-to rifle bags.

Different Savior Equipment Models
Different Savior Equipment Models

There’s two primary flavors…the American Classic with three pouches in the front…and the Urban Warfare with one large pouch and two smaller pouches.  Personal preference but I like the more streamlined look of the Urban Warfare.

Savior MultiCam Urban Warfare
Savior MultiCam Urban Warfare

Be sure to use code “PEWPEW15” to get 15% off your order on their site.

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.

I like 36″ which should fit all 16″ AR-15s and AKs with adjustable buttstocks.

Multicam Urban Warfare 36 with AR Pistol
Multicam Urban Warfare 36″ with AR Pistol

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.

Savior Gray Urban Warefare 42
Savior Gray Urban Warfare 42″

Otherwise the tiniest 36″ is enough for AR and PCC pistol variants.

Savior American Classic 32 in FDE
Savior American Classic 36″ in FDE

And in 2020 they had a substantial overhaul of all their bags which made them even beefier.

Again…we’ve secured a 15% off coupon for our readers with code “PEWPEW15” if you order on their site.

Here’s the American Classic version:

And the sleeker molle Urban Warfare version (my favorite):

EDITOR’S PICK: SOFT RIFLE BAG

Another of my favorites which I’ve been testing over 3 years has been their Coffin which semi-discreetly carries a fully-collapsed AR or pistol variant with ease.

Savior Equipment Coffin
Savior Equipment Coffin

Go with the 34″ variant for a 16″ AR-15.

Coffin Single Rifle 34
Coffin Single Rifle 34″

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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?

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. Savior Equipment Specialist Pistol Case

If you’re looking for a sturdy pistol bag with loads of room for accessories, Savior Equipment’s Specialist ($30) has you covered. 

Savior Equipment Specialist Front
Who doesn’t like cool patches??

The Specialist brings an internal size of 12.5 x 8.5 x 2.5-inches in its main compartment. 

Savior Equipment Specialist Internal Compartment
The internal pocket is pretty roomy and, most importantly, organized.

Main compartment also features magazine organization and two additional pockets for other odds and ends.

Savior Equipment Specialist Front Pocket
The front pocket can hold a variety of other necessities.

On the outside, you have another pocket perfect for admin items like ear and eye pro, multi-tool, gloves, and a mag loader. 

Be sure to use code PEWPEW15 to save 15% off at Savior Equipment.

10. 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

11. 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

12. 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

 

13. Savior Equipment SEMA

Looking for a combo range bag and pistol case?

Savior Equipment SEMA Backpack
Savior Equipment SEMA Backpack

The SEMA (Savior Equipment Mobile Arsenal) gives you plenty of space for all your accessories and ammo. Plus comes with some nice pistol pouches that live in the bottom compartment.

SEMA Pistol Pouches
SEMA Pistol Pouches

And of course has lots of useful pockets inside too.

SEMA Open Top
SEMA Open Top

Be sure to use code PEWPEW15 to save 15% off at Savior Equipment.

14. 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.

Plus there’s custom foam ($75).

Pelican 1500 with Custom Foam
Pelican 1500 with Custom Foam

15. Nanuk 910

I love my Pelicans…but when I wanted something a little flatter for my suppressor and accessories…I couldn’t find the right model.

The ones that hit the spot for size also had built-in number locks that I didn’t care for…

Pelican-1495-Laptop
Pelican 1495, Laptop

So I went with one of their big competitors…Nanuk that’s made in Canada.

Nanuk 910 vs Pelican 1500
Nanuk 910 vs Pelican 1500

The Nanuk 910 model was perfectly sized for my suppressors, accessories, and a handgun if needed.

Nanuk 910 with 1911 and Suppressors
Nanuk 910 with 1911 and Suppressors

Exterior Size: L14.3″ x W11.1″ x H4.7″

Interior Size: L13.2″ x W9.2″ x H4.1″

16. Vaultek Lifepod

My current travel handgun case if I’m driving and staying at hotels or Airbnbs is the Vaultek Lifepod.

Vaultek Lifepod
Vaultek Lifepod

Discreet with the slingbag, enough protection, quick access, and still able to be tethered down.

See it in action:

Buttons are still good even when wet since they are capacitive. I personally like to leave the latches unlocked when I’m going to sleep and only have the button code.

Space is decent for travel too…I only bring a compact gun with light and a mag.

Lifepod Capacity
Lifepod Capacity

My go-to choice for when you need a locked box for travel.

Now there’s the upgraded (and larger) LifePod 2.0 that I use at home for my holstered CCW or two securely store two handguns.

LifePod 2.0, Two Guns
LifePod 2.0, Two Guns

Or with the tray…some other stuff.

LifePod 2.0 EDC
LifePod 2.0 EDC

With the larger size also comes some cooler colors…my favorite being Black Multicam.

LifePod 2.0 Black & Camo
LifePod 2.0 Black & Camo

But whatever it is…you can’t go wrong for a secure box that looks great.

17. Savior Equipment Guitar Gun Case

A new addition to the list!

The Savior Equipment Guitar Gun Case is a nice covert hard-case when you don’t want your neighbors to know you’re off to the range.

Savior Equipment Guitar Gun Case
Savior Equipment Guitar Gun Case

It has rolling wheels…

Rolling Wheels, Savior Equipment
Rolling Wheels, Savior Equipment

And also nice durable handles, 6 clasps all around….

Handle and Clasps, Savior Equipment
Handle and Clasps, Savior Equipment

A top handle and 2 lockable areas.

Top Handle, Savior Equipment
Top Handle, Savior Equipment

Overall it’s pretty sturdy and can double as an airline firearm case because of the lockable areas.  There’s no pressure release valve however if that matters for you.

It comes with three layers of dense foam.  You can cut the middle layer for your firearm and leave the top one for basically no movement.

Guitar Case Foam
Guitar Case Foam

Space is decent for an AR with optics plus a pistol or a bunch of mags.

AR-15 in Savior Equipment Guitar Gun Case
AR-15 in Savior Equipment Guitar Gun Case

You’ll have to cut the foam which I easily did in under 10 minutes with chalk and a steak knife.  It’s no hot wire cutting…but it’ll do!

Savior Guitar Case Foam, Cut
Savior Guitar Case Foam, Cut

Overall the Savior Equipment really is a nice covert hard-case that’s enough for travel.

18. Cedar Mill Guitar Gun Case

Another covert guitar gun case…except this one takes the nicer aesthetic approach.

Cedar Mill Guitar Gun Case
Cedar Mill Guitar Gun Case

The Cedar Mill Guitar Gun Case ($189) can hide in plain sight in your living room…and even spruce it up!

Nice Handles and Exterior, Cedar Mill
Nice Handles and Exterior, Cedar Mill

It’s covered in a nice faux-leather that can take some abuse but I still wouldn’t throw it around or toss it in the back of the truck.

It’s main security is looking like a guitar case…but there’s also a lock in the middle clasp.  Note it feels flimsy and someone can probably easily Hulk it open by hand.

Lockable Clasp, Cedar Mill
Lockable Clasp, Cedar Mill

The interior has pluckable foam so you don’t need to break out the steak knife.

AR-15 in Cedar Mill Guitar Gun Case
AR-15 in Cedar Mill Guitar Gun Case

Check out the size of the pluckable foam.

Pluckable Foam, Cedar Mill
Pluckable Foam, Cedar Mill

Size is decent too and you can fit a handgun or mags in that top right space.  Overall it’s a tiny bit smaller than the Savior, which will work better with a longer barrel.

The guitar body area seems very similar.

Cedar Mill and Savior Equipment Guitar Gun Cases
Cedar Mill and Savior Equipment Guitar Gun Cases

If you’re looking for a very nicely built covert guitar case…and you aren’t looking to fly with it…the Cedar Mill is a great bet.

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.



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