The Best Rifle Cases of 2024

A quality rifle case is an investment that will pay for itself over time. These are some of the best

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As with most shooting products, the best rifle case to get depends on the user’s specific needs. The size and number of rifles to be transported has an outsized influence on the decision, as does the basic issue of whether to go with a soft or hard rifle case. The degree of protection desired is another major factor. And, of course, the individual’s budget cannot be ignored.

After assessing those variables, the best rifle case for you will start to come into focus. The final selection will boil down to other features: overall weight, portability, the need for a low-profile rifle case or one that can accommodate numerous accessories, and so forth. Chances are one or more of the cases in this guide will fit the bill. Also remember that most of the cases I’ve highlighted here come in varying configurations. So, if the specific model listed isn’t quite right, check out the other options in the manufacturer’s lineup.

How We Chose the Best Rifle Cases

I’ve tested all the rifle cases here in the field under varying environmental conditions. And most I’ve used for years. With respect to the hard cases, I assessed their protection against the elements by hosing them down with water and driving along dirt roads to see whether dust or moisture penetrated the interiors.

I paid close attention to the quality of the stitching and fasteners to identify weak points in the design. During the test I manipulated the fasteners numerous times to make sure they worked smoothly. Bonus points were awarded to those that operated one-handed without difficulty. Extra features, such as the ability to configure the interior of a case to the profile of a specific firearm, were weighed as well. When assessing a case, here are some key considerations:

  • Environmental protection (Specifically versus dust and moisture)
  • Impact protection (The ability to handle typical knocks and falls)
  • Durability (Useful lifespan with regular use)
  • Ergonomics (Layout and accessibility of compartments, zippers, buckles, etc.)
  • Extras (Any value-added features it might have)
  • Value (Bang for the buck)

Best Rifle Cases: Reviews & Recommendations

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Key Features

  • Holds two full-sized rifles
  • Injection molded polymer and resin shell
  • Excellent protection against damage from impacts and environmental conditions


  • Padlock holes reinforced with metal
  • Gasket seals the inside against moisture and dust
  • Roomy interior with ample foam to cushion against impacts
  • Latches operate smoothly and are recessed for protection


  • Double-gun configuration is bulky
  • Rear hinge pins not secured

In the world of the best rifle cases, Pelican’s hard cases have earned a reputation for utter reliability. The one knock is that you pay for that performance. With the introduction of the Vault series, Pelican addressed that concern without compromising on protection. 

As with their flagship cases, the Pelican Vault double-rifle case seals the interior against moisture, dust, and impacts. It comes with a pressure-release valve to cope with changes in altitude, and the smooth-operating latches are among the best out there. 

Whether traveling with guns via airline or just protecting guns on the way to the range, the double-rifle Vault gets the job done at a price that won’t break the bank.

Though this gun case is bulky, I appreciate that it weighs less than the standard Pelican offerings. I’ve used Pelican cases to protect my most valuable firearms for many years, and while I was reluctant to try this offering that’s a step below their top tier I must say I’ve been impressed with how good a job it has done.

One useful way to run it is to remove the foam and use it with rifle bags that have some degree of padding.

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Key Features

  • Excellent environmental protection
  • Reasonable weight in light of rugged construction
  • Offers top-notch security


  • Secure and durable latches
  • Good o-ring seal
  • Comfortable carry handle


  • Foam not customizable
  • No wheels

Gear editor Scott Einsmann has put this Boyt case through the paces and has been very satisfied with the results. He says it is the best rifle case he’s hunted with. He used it to transport his Tikka T3X Lite rifle on a hunt to British Columbia that involved 7,000 miles of air travel, and hours of bouncing around in the back of a truck on the way to camp.

The fact that his rifle arrived in perfect condition with no need to adjust his zero speaks volumes about the quality of this case.

This particular model, with an advertised 48 inches of interior space, was just able to accommodate the Tikka, which has a 24-inch barrel and a 44.5-inch overall length.

So if your rifle is any longer than that, consider going with Boyt 52SG.

Einsmann was particularly impressed by the quality of the Boyt’s latch and hinge design.

“One of my favorite features of the case is the latches, which is often the weak point of gun cases,” he said. “Turning the latches 180 degrees pulls the case closed, and then they fold down flat. There’s very little chance for them to catch on anything or come undone while being thrown in the cargo hold of a 737. The hinge pins are also steel, and the hinges double as a flat surface that helps the case stand upright when you set it down.”

Best Gun Case with Lock: Plano Rustrictor

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Key Features

  • Durable resin shell with integral rust inhibitor
  • Customizable foam interior
  • Two latches with integral locks


  • Blocks corrosion on metalwork
  • Lockable latches for extra security
  • Pluck-and-fit foam for a custom fit
  • Wheels are oversized for smooth rolling


  • Somewhat bulky
  • Padlock hasps not reinforced with metal

This particular gun case is the largest in Plano’s line of rifle cases. For that reason, it is equipped with wheels, which makes transporting the case and its contents much easier, especially when traversing smooth ground like at the airport. Two of the four latches on the case have integral locks, so there’s no need to add padlocks to discourage unauthorized access. 

The foam that’s attached to the top and bottom of the case is ventilated so that the rust inhibitor can permeate the interior and protect the metalwork on the firearms.  

The rust inhibitor that’s incorporated into this case really separates it from the rest of the field, making it the best rifle case for humid climates. When I lived in the Northeast I had to give each of my guns a thorough cleaning and wipe down after each use in order to prevent blooms of rust from appearing. Even on rifles that were touted as “weatherproof” rust will form on scope cap screws, action screws, the trigger face, and other metal that is covered by the stock. Having something like this Plano offers true peace of mind.

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Key Features

  • The UH030 is roomy enough to accommodate long precision rifles with large riflescopes
  • Backpack straps and hip belt make hauling heavy rifles easier
  • Excellent workmanship will give years of service


  • Best-in-class protection
  • Smart layout
  • Extreme durability


  • Expensive
  • Somewhat ulky
Rifle sits on the Ulfhednar Gun Case.

Whenever I haul one of my competition rifles to the range or to a match it rides in an Ulfhednar gun case. I test and use any number of gun cases and gun bags, but for my most valuable rifles, I turn to this one again and again.

There’s a lot to like about this case, starting with the quality of its construction and design. The layout is simple. There’s a single compartment for the rifle that is well padded and protected on both sides—one side being the back of the case where the ergonomic and padded backpack straps and hip belt are located, and the other being the front of the case that has a series of pockets for accessories.

The pockets of the Ulfhednar Gun Case are spacious.
There’s ample room for multiple magazines and accessories. John B. Snow

The pockets can accommodate all kinds of useful accessories. The two central pockets are where I usually stash my magazines, rifle suppressor, and bipod. The other two pockets hold tools, ammo, and other administrative items I might need. When I know I’m going to be gathering a lot of data while shooting suppressed, I’ll often put a lightweight battery operated fan in one of the pockets to blow the mirage out of my scope.  

I’ve been rocking my main Ulfhednar case for many years, and other than the typical wear and patina that comes from hard use, it is still good as new. The fabric is all still intact, the zippers still run perfectly, and the plastic fasteners are unscathed. I’ve never used a soft rifle case as durable.

Essentially it functions and protects like a hard case but is more convenient. The only downside is that it is bulky compared to some other soft cases—so if you like to store a rifle in a soft case that can then go inside a hard case, it isn’t ideal for that.

But other than that scenario, I can’t recommend this bag highly enough. It’s a bit expensive but pays for itself in the long run both for the protection it affords and with respect to its lifespan. Hands down, it is the best rifle case of this type.

It also comes in a shorter model (47 inches versus 55 inches) if you don’t need the extra length.

Best Soft Case for Carbines: 5.11 42-inch Single Rifle Case

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Key Features

  • Padded interior sleeves and straps to secure the rifle
  • Simple one-compartment design


  • Lightweight
  • Easily fits inside a hard case
  • Good value


  • Moderate environmental protection

I’ve carried a lot of different rifles in this case from 5.11, which is one of the newer additions to that company’s lineup. Its biggest selling point is its simplicity. The case has a double zipper that opens the main compartment.

Inside that compartment are padded sleeves at either end to hold the muzzle and stock of your rifle as well as two Velcro straps in the center of the case to secure a long gun.

The 5.11 has ample padding.
5.11’s single rifle case features a simple design and ample padding. John B. Snow

The padding on the case is sufficient to handle all but the worst abuse. And if you anticipate exposing your rifle to a severe beating you can put this case right into a hard rifle case, like the Pelican Vault mentioned here.

The 42-inch model I have is quite versatile. It is one of the best rifle cases for carbines, but also works well with larger rifles that have folding stocks. If you just want a case for smaller carbines, however, 5.11 makes a 36-inch model that costs a bit less.

The 5.11 single rifle case opens flat.
This rifle case opens flat so you aren’t fighting to safely strap in your firearm. John B. Snow

Like most products wearing the 5.11 brand this case has some thoughtful design features. For instance, when unzipped the bag opens flat, which makes securing and removing the rifle very convenient.

The case comes with a single carry strap to sling over your shoulder and has Molle webbing and Velcro patches on the exterior to add extra bags or accessories.

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Key Features

  • Designed for long, bulky rifles and other equipment
  • Modular interior can be configured multiple ways
  • Has well-designed wheels


  • 55-inch interior for long rifles
  • Light weight for its size
  • Excellent environment protection
  • Modular


  • Pricey
A rifle sits in the Pelican Air 1755.
This hard case is ideal for competition precision rifles. John B. Snow

Precision rifles are the NBA players of bolt guns. They are often too long to fit into standard sized cases, which is why this newer case from Pelican is such a blessing. The Pelican Air 1755 is the best hard rifle case for transporting my precious competition guns.

As part of Pelican’s Air series, it is made from a special polymer that is significantly lighter than the materials Pelican traditionally uses yet is still tough and durable. It also comes with wheels so it is easy to haul through airports when traveling.

The interior comes with foam that can be cut by hand to create a custom fit for a rifle and accessories. Mine accommodates my GA Precision 6 GT along with spare magazines, a bipod, sling, laser range finding binoculars, Kestrel, and other items.  

The Pelican Air has modular details.
The Pelican Air 1755’s modular panels are convenient for stashing extra accessories. John B. Snow

Part of the appeal of the Air 1755 is that the lid has attachment points for Pelican’s 1500MP EZ-Click Molle Panels that allow the user to add a host of pouches and bags for a truly custom configuration. Another smart accessory that can be used with this and any other rifle case is the 1500CI Corrosion Intercept Kit. It employs copper to “neutralize” airborne particles that can cause corrosion and is safe to use in proximity to all optics and electronics.

Best Traditional Soft Rifle Case: Boyt Harness Signature Series Scoped Rifle Case

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Key Features

  • Classic design
  • Durable brass zipper
  • Leather accents


  • Ideal for traditional scoped hunting rifles
  • Lightweight
  • Durable


  • Heavy rain will eventually soak through the case
A rifle sits on the Boyt Signature Scoped Rifle Case.
Boyt’s Signature Series soft case is ideal for transporting scoped hunting rifles. Boyt

The Boyt Harness Signature Series soft case is as traditional as a flannel shirt in deer camp. I’ve got a bunch of these cases in my collection, and they are the best rifle cases for transporting standard scoped hunting rifles to and from the range or on when road tripping during hunting season.

The padded khaki fabric, leather accents, and brass zipper are aesthetically pleasing and practical. The level of protection this case offers is commensurate with its low profile and light weight. It will handle standard dings and scuffs easily but won’t tolerate hard abuse or torrential rains. The good news is these cases slip easily into larger hard cases if you need greater protection.

The only downsides I’ve experienced with these cases is that the leather tabs that thread through the zipper pulls can sometimes work loose, as can the leather thong loop used to hang the case on a hook. But if you keep an eye on them to make sure they’re snug you won’t have any issues.

The exterior pocket is handy for storing a box of ammo or holding your rifle’s bolt.

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Key Features

  • Case converts into a large shooting mat
  • Made from water resistant Cordura
  • Has interior storage for cleaning rod, cartridges, DOPE card, and electronics
  • Comes with padded backpack straps


  • Ideal for transporting large ELR rifles
  • Converts into a well-designed shooting mat
  • Extremely rugged


  • Expensive
  • Bulky
We tested the Ulfhednar Guncover-Shooting Mat.
The Ulfhednar Guncover/Shooting Mat Combo is bulky, but functional. John B. Snow

This is an excellent product for a specific niche of rifle. If you have a true ELR gun, you know that finding cases to accommodate those behemoths is no simple task. Well, Ulfhednar has stepped up to the plate with the best rifle case for extra-long competition rigs that are meant to be shot prone. This model is 63 inches long, so it can contain a long-barreled rifle with a suppressor attached. There’s also a slightly shorter one that is 55 inches long.

The case has a tri-fold design that surrounds the rifle with ample padding when zipped shut. The rifle is held in place via a sleeve for the muzzle and Velcro straps that secure the stock. The stout zipper that encloses the case is reinforced by four straps with nylon buckles.

Rifle sits on the Ulfhednar Guncover-Shooting Mat.
This case has a tri-fold design that unzips into a large shooting mat. John B. Snow

When deployed, the case converts into a large shooting mat that is laid out so the shooter has easy access to ammunition, DOPE cards, and other essentials. It includes a bipod mat that has pockets to hold the legs of the bipod when deployed to create a more stable shooting position. It also has a sleeve for a full-length cleaning rod.

Ulfhendar did an outstanding job designing the mat for comfort. The padding doubles as insulation to limit cold from seeping into the shooter’s body from the ground. It is also resistant to mud, snow, and water to protect the shooter and rifle from the elements. On top of that, the straps and buckles on the mat don’t dig into the shooter’s body—you don’t really feel them at all when lying on top of it.

This product isn’t cheap, nor is it minimalistic. But if you’re looking for something with this functionality, you won’t find a better product on the market.

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Key Features

  • Numerous pockets, pouches, and storage areas
  • Comes with padded backpack straps
  • Available in 46- and 42-inch lengths


  • Lots of storage
  • Durable construction
  • Good padding


  • A bit bulky
A rifle sits on the Draco rifle case.
The storage capacity on the Drago is impressive with three pockets, three pouches, and Molle webbing. John B. Snow

This is the best rifle case for rifles that have a lot of accessories that go with them. It is also excellent for multi gun competition. The front face of the exterior has three zippered pockets, three storage pouches, and two substantial sections of Molle webbing that can haul a lot of extras. In addition, the interior of the largest pocket houses two more zippered storage areas and two padded sleeves for handguns.

I’ve used this case a lot in conjunction with one of my long-range .22 LR competition rifles. The rifle with its large precision scope fits easily and securely in the main compartment, which is well protected with padding and has sleeves on either end for the muzzle and stock to slip into.

Because the rifle runs with unique magazines and specific lots of .22 ammo, I like to keep them with the rifle, which is where those exterior pockets come in handy. Those pockets also accommodate a bipod, tools to service the rifle and scope, and other administrative items.

When you start adding all that stuff the case can get heavy in a flash. To make hauling it less of a burden, the back side of the case has padded backpack straps that clip onto D-rings.

The quality of the case’s construction is excellent. The materials and stitching have held up to years of use and show no meaningful wear and tear. If the 46-inch version is more than you need, take a look at the 42-inch model.

Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Rifle Case

The purpose of a gun case is to protect the investment you’ve made in your firearms. The type of damage you’re trying to mitigate with a case mostly revolves around transportation of the firearm from the house to either a range or to the place you’ll be hunting. An unsecured firearm is subject to scratches, dings, and exposure to the environment that can cause cosmetic damage, or worse: a malfunction or more severe damage. This is especially so with rifles with optics mounted on them.

In some instances, gun cases can also be used for long term storage in the home.

The manner in which your firearm is to be transported will dictate the type of gun case to purchase. When traveling via airline, a hard sided and lockable gun case is required. These cases are built to the toughest standards, are heavy and bulky, and tend to be the most expensive as well.

Hard cases are also the right call when transporting firearms in the back of a vehicle where they might be exposed to the elements and impacts from traveling down uneven roads. For firearms that are transported in the interior of a vehicle, gun cases don’t need to offer the same level of protection. Padded soft cases are often the best bet. There’s another type of protection that cases can offer, however, and that is protection against detection. These cases are designed to look like everyday bags and not give away their contents.


Q: What is the best length for a rifle case?

The best length for a rifle case is one where the interior gives you at least two inches of clearance for your firearm. This goes for both a soft rifle case and a hard sided rifle case. With any less clearance you run the risk of stressing the zippers when you close the case or being unable to close the lid.

Common lengths of rifle cases vary from about 36 inches for smaller carbines and AR pistols to 48 inches for longer guns.

Q: Do guns rust in a case?

Just as a good gun case will keep moisture out, it will also hold moisture in if the interior is exposed to water or if you put a wet gun away. In these instances, you can expect the gun to rust. Products like Plano’s Rustrictor can help mitigate the chances of this happening, but you should always strive to dry your firearm completely before storing it in a gun case for any length of time.

Q: Can I keep my ammo in my gun case?

Yes you can, though I wouldn’t keep the ammo in the case permanently unless the case can be locked. But for running to and from the range it is convenient to have the correct ammo with the gun.

Q: Can ammunition go bad?

As long as ammunition is stored in a dry and relatively cool place it will last for years or even decades. There are some exceptions to this, with some ammunition that is loaded with powders that degrade a bit over time, but in general you don’t have to worry about ammunition going bad.

If your ammo is exposed to water, however, it is possible to experience underpowered “squib” loads or duds that fail to fire.

Final Thoughts on the Best Rifle Cases

It seems for every niche and application of rifle there’s a case to match. If you only own one rifle, finding the right case isn’t difficult. But if you collect guns—as many of us are prone to—you’re going to want cases that can be used with a variety of rifles. This goes for both soft rifle cases and hard sided ones.

Fortunately, most good rifle cases are versatile. Though if you have a specialty gun—like an extra-long and bulky precision rifle—you’re going to need a case with adequate dimensions.

No matter what you’re looking for, spending money on a quality case is the right move. Cheap cases are just that. I’ve used “bargain” soft cases, for instance, where the interior started to shred after just one use, while the cheaper hard cases won’t survive the first contact with an irate baggage handler at the airport. Neither are worth fooling with. So do yourself, and your rifle, a favor and save up for a case—like the ones listed here—with a proven track record.

John B. Snow Avatar

John B. Snow

Shooting Editor

John B. Snow is Shooting Editor of Outdoor Life, where he oversees the publication’s firearms and shooting coverage. This includes gear reviews, features on technical innovations, stories on shooting techniques and general hunting coverage with the occasional fishing story thrown into the mix. Originally from Seattle, he has lived all over the country, crisscrossing it by car and truck no fewer than 10 times as he’s moved from one location to the next. Since 2010 he has lived in Bozeman, Montana where he currently resides with his bird dog, Roo.