Rifle cases are a must-have for anyone that’s even remotely serious about shooting and you should own one before you even step foot into a shooting range. Even if you only own a 22 rifle, you will need a case to tote your trusty rifle around. Tactical cases are typically soft-shelled or hard-shelled, which are used to make transporting and storing your rifles easier. They also help protect your guns from the elements and keeping them in top shape during transport. It’s important to carry your AR-15 in a case for a number of reasons. We made sure to outline those reasons below for you in our guide to the best AR-15 rifle cases on the market.
There are plenty of cases on the market today and there are also a number of important factors that vary from case to case. We’ve gone ahead taken the guesswork out of the selection process for you by highlighting our top 5 picks in both the comparison grid below as well as a little more detail in our product wrap-ups just below that.
Reasons to use a rifle case
While you could just carry your rifle from place to place in some instances, there are numerous situations as to why you would need to use a rifle case. Rifle cases offer a ton of benefits and almost no downsides, so it’s a no brainer that the second thing you purchase after your AR-15 should be one of these best rifle cases.
This is really the main reason and we break it down further below. Transporting your guns from one location to another such as a house, the range, or to your hunting grounds is only made easier with a case. Instead of throwing your AR in the back seat of your truck, treat it with the respect it deserves and zip it up or clasp it up in a nice case before you head out. Transporting your AR-15 in a rifle case protects the rifle from damage and protects you from some possible legal headaches.
After spending possibly thousands on your AR-15 and attachments and sights why would you so callously throw it around? Get that baby in a case and show it the love it deserves! Cases protect your rifle from any possible wear and tear that may occur. As it jostles around in the back seat, it can get scratched or banged up. Putting it in a case will prevent that from happening. You have car insurance for your car, why not get a little bit of insurance in the form of a one-time payment and pick up one of these cases?
Carrying firearms across state lines can be a tricky situation. Almost every state is different when it comes to this and it’s best to look up what the laws are before you end up in hot water. A lot of states require the firearm to be locked away and unloaded or even disassembled. While you can lock a pistol in the glovebox, an AR-15 won’t exactly fit in there. Your best bet is to purchase a case that will allow you to lock it with a key or a padlock. If your case doesn’t have a built-in key, you can always lock the zippers with a padlock as some people do for airport luggage. Please note that we cannot provide legal advice and are not doing so in any way. Do your research and carry your firearms legally and according to the full letter of the law.
Best Rifle Cases
Here are our top picks for the best rifle case for an AR-15. Some of the cases are soft-shell, some are hard-shell. Be sure to read our review of each case so that you pick the best one!
Vault by Pelican
- Pelican is dedicated to growing globally by providing quality products and services that add value...
- Pelican's Vision: Protecting all that you value
- Pelican includes a wide range of consumer products imbued with the same tough-as-nails DNA as their...
Pelican is a huge name when it comes to cases and transporting expensive equipment. When people hear Pelican, they probably immediately think of the camera cases if they didn’t think of the bird first. If photographers and videographers can trust Pelican to keep their $10,000+ worth of equipment safe, we can trust them to keep our custom AR-15s and equipment safe.
The Vault by Pelican features their best technology and protection they offer. This hard-shell rifle case is made of a crushproof high-impact polymer that has been tested time and time again. Since their camera cases are water and weather resistant, you can expect the same from this case. Rain or shine at the range, this case will hold up to near anything.
Again, like the other cases with customizable foam inserts, this case can fit whatever you need it to as long as you can cut it into the foam inserts. Take your time when designing your interior layout and you’ll find that this case has plenty of space, enough for two rifles and their extras.
This case is one of the more expensive cases on our list, but we find it’s worth every penny. It has durable latches, strong handles, a customizable interior, tough exterior, and is built by a name to trust. We recommend this case over any of the others on our list if your able to drop a little extra on your rifle case for your AR-15.
Condor Single Rifle Case
- Padded primary compartment: - accommodates one rifle up to 42" long
- 2 hook and loop straps to secure rifle with padded sleeves for addition barrel protection (one on...
- Secondary Compartment: - 26 inch long with 2 internal padded pockets
With over twenty years of experience in the tactical/outdoor gear industry, Condor knows the difference between tactical-practical gear and “tactical-cool” gear that is often labeled by users as junk. All of their equipment is designed for the tough conditions of the field while also saving you money.
The Condor Single Rifle Case is no exception. It is one of the performing and attractive soft-shelled rifle cases on the market. Best of all, buying one won’t put a major dent in your bank account.
To start with, the Condor Single Rifle Case is a looker if there ever was one. It looks just as durable as it is durable. You can purchase it in one of three colorways, including Olive Drab, Tan, and Black.
Beyond looks, this Condor case is designed to be as practical as possible. All metal zippers and D-locks are functional and ensure durability. Two hook and loop straps secure your rifle in the 42 inch long main compartment while a 26 inch second compartment has two internal pockets to hold your pistols, ammo, and other accessories. The bag also comes with two mag pouches and one utility pouch.
Padding on the case is sound throughout. It is up to ¾ inches thick in most places. Better yet, this isn’t flimsy padding. It is solid, firm padding similar to that they use in the military. Finally, Condor gives you a number of different sizing options to suit the length of your rifle. The Condor Single Rifle Case is a recommended range bag of outstanding value.
If this is the case your going to purchase make sure you select the model that will fit your AR-15. It comes in two different sizes, we suggest getting the 42 inch size rifle case even if the smaller size would fit. This is because you might get a different barrel attachment or stock and need the extra size in the future. If you don’t use the extra space, you can always fill it with an extra magazine or a handgun!
VISM Double Carbine Case
- Will accommodate 2 rifles
- All pockets feature heavy duty zippers
- 3 exterior pockets are perfect for keeping your gear
Like the Condor Single Rifle Case, the VISM Double Carbine Case by NcSTAR is a top-quality rifle case built by one of the most respected names in the tactical/outdoor industry. The only difference is – that’s right, you guessed correct – the double rifle version of the case holds up to two rifles. This makes it perfect for those that tend to bring more than one rifle with them to the shooting range.
The VISM Double Rifle Case is a tactical case through and through. It is practical with an amazing amount of space and an equally amazing level of versatility. Though, it can hold a ton of equipment. You can fit at least two rifles, a couple of handguns, and a box or two of rounds for each firearm. And that’s in addition to the equipment. We’ve seen people fit two rifles, four handguns, and a box of ammo for each in this case. However, it does get quite heavy and at times the straps can feel like they’re at their limit so we suggest that you transport your ammo separately.
The versatility of the rifle case shines through in its customizability. The front three pouches unbutton for a more minimalist look. Convenient adjustable straps and zippers keep your rifles tight and secure.
Most importantly, the VISM Double Rifle Case does a stellar job at protecting your rifles from the scratches and bumps of the road. If you’re looking for a workhorse of a soft-shelled double rifle case, then look no further. NcSTAR offers a ton of different color scheme options as well making it perfect if you’re looking for a more personable AR-15 rifle case.
Uncle Mike’s Tactical Rifle Case
- Heavy duty precision stitching
- Made of coated and padded 600 denier woven fabric, double stitched for strength and durability
- Full length zipper opens case out flat, tab and loop for locking
A great rifle case doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, they can be affordable. Uncle Mike’s Law Enforcement Tactical Assault Case is one of the best rifle cases in the budget category. Save your money and increase the life of your firearms with this awesome and affordable gun case.
Uncle Mike’s Tactical Rifle Case is made out of durable 600D polyester. It comes with a 2-inch foam padding for increase protection during transport.
At the end of the day, this is a well-made bag at a good price. It might not be the highest quality bag on the market but it does its job well for its price point. If you’re on a budget but still want a great case for your rifles, this tactical rifle case by Uncle Mike’s is for you
Plano Molding Company All-Weather Tactical Gun Case
- Plano gun cases: Protecting your passion since 1952
- Features: All weather gun cases defend your firearms from damage and the elements. We've enhanced...
- Safety first: Soft look floating bristle arrow retainer to keep from dry-firing. Finger safety...
At 42 inches in total length, the rugged, industrial-strength construction ensures that the Plano All-Weather Tactical Gun Case won’t quit. A continuous Dri-Loc Seal ensures the case is waterproof and airtight so your valuable guns are protected in even the rough and tumble conditions. Its hard-shell steel exterior, customizable foam inserts, and secure draw-down latches make this one of the best cases for airline cargo holds.
The case will come with foam that you then mold to your needs. You can trace your rifle over the foam along with any attachments, boxes of ammunition, or handguns you wish to transport in it. After cutting out the foam, the Plano rifle case makes a perfect custom fit for any of your needs.
Simply put, this is a rugged and well-padded steel rifle case that is made to do the job and do it well. The case is durable and sturdy. It is one of the best rifle cases out there, especially considering its overall value. It’s steel exterior and water-resistant seal ensures your rifle is well-protected.
Savior Equipment Tactical Discreet Rifle CASE
- [Keep It Low-Key] - Low-Profile Design For Concealed Carry to Avoid Any Unwanted Attention In...
- [Make Security a Priority] - Lockable Design on the Hardshell Case to Maximize Your Safety Concern.
- [3 x Customizable Foam Inserts Included] - Easily Fit Most of Your Shooting & Hunting Accessories in...
A little pricier than our other cases, this case is for people looking to discreetly transport their rifle from one location to another. Like the Plano hard-shell case, this case comes with foam that you custom cut to fit your needs. Pack your rifle, a handgun, some ammo – whatever you need in the case.
Now is a good time to mention if you haven’t realized already that the case is shaped like a guitar. This makes it the perfect idea for someone who doesn’t want to advertise that they have a gun case in the back of their car or in their house.
The Savior Discreet Rifle Case also has wheels on the bottom making it easy to carry from your car to the range. Ease of transportation is something to look for when you have a case that can carry so much weight in firearms and ammo.
This case also comes with a lifetime warranty from Savior – love it or return it they say!
Our Wrap Up & Recommendations
While there are plenty of cases to choose from, these are the top choices that we’d lean towards and you can see that shooters that have purchased any one of these great cases feel the same way (just check the number of purchases & reviews on online).
Securing your firearms is always an important and personal choice. You want to make sure you can take your rifles with you safely and securely. Transporting them securely is just as important as making sure they are locked up nice and tight in your home, your car, or even if you keep a handgun in a small biometric safe.