If you’re an active member of the gun community, chances are you participate in competitions, group hunting, or regular target practice. For many of us, that means traveling. Whether by land, air, or sea, transporting an AR-15 requires proper planning and protective travel equipment.
We’ve put together a review of the four best AR-15 hard cases that are available online. A good hard case requires a lot more consideration than just “will my rifle stay in place”. Unlike with soft cases, a durable exterior is important, but factors such as altitude fluctuation during air travel are really important to think about as well.
Best AR-15 Hard Cases
Best Budget Buy
|Flambeau Tactical Rifle Case|| ||$92 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|Plano Molding All Weather Tactical Gun Case|| ||$114 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|Case Club Premade AR-15 Waterproof Rifle Case|| ||$199 Shop NowClick to read my review|
|Pelican 1720 Rifle Case|| ||$259 Shop NowClick to read my review|
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Flambeau Tactical Rifle Case
Materials – The Flambeau Tactical Rifle Case for the AR-15 has 40” x 12” x 4” dimensions for its interior. This can fit your rifle without complications, given its measurements. Made from durable plastic material, its exterior protects your firearms from several threats. For instance, the plastic material prevents it from getting damaged due to wear and tear. To keep your gun in place, the case’s convoluted interior foam makes it shock-resistant. Plus, it has an anti-corrosion Zerust tab that lets out a corrosion isolating vapor. This helps create a protective layer on metal to stop rust from forming. For extra security, it comes with four locking points for your weapon’s secure closure. It also includes a 10” x 13” magazine storage. The magazine storage’s diffusers consist of anti-corrosion Zerust technology. You can also find Velcro straps inside, securing your stashed guns and magazines. It also passed TSA and airline safety requirements upon product inspection. As such, this makes it a perfect AR-15 case for air travel.
Performance – Flambeau manufactures one of the best AR-15 hard cases, including this Tactical Rifle Case. The convoluted foam inside is soft enough to avoid your guns from getting shocked due to falls. To add, its anti-corrosion Zerust tab prevents rust from forming around the case. This helps maintain the case’s pristine condition. Also, the Velcro straps secure your weapons in place amidst constant traveling. The magazine storage lets you carry not only extra ammo alone. Rather, you can store other AR-15 accessories like flashlights and dot sights. It’s also the perfect size to fit your AR-15 rifle, including stashing a pistol or two inside. There are reports that the clips that lock the case can come off, but this has not happened to our test case. This case is still an excellent AR-15 hard case for outdoor adventures. Since it’s TSA- and airline-approved, you’ll have an easy time taking this case almost anyway you want to go.
What we say – The Flambeau Tactical Rifle Case is this review’s most inexpensive AR-15 hard case. Costing only $92, you’ll have yourself a sturdy container for your rifle. Plus, you get to store an extra pistol inside for concealed carry. If you travel by plane a lot, this hard case is your best choice.
- Made from durable plastic material
- Shock- and rust-resistant
- Has a spacious compartment
- Includes four locking points for extra security
- Velcro straps keep your gun secured while on the move
- Case meets both TSA and airline requirements
- Clips that lock the case can come off
Plano Molding All Weather Tactical Gun Case
Materials – The Plano Molding All Weather Tactical Gun Case is advertised as a 42-inch case, but the dimensions are actually 46 inches in length, 16 inches in width, and 5.5 inches in depth. The very durable exterior casing is designed to withstand the bumps and collisions of airline travel. It’s also designed to withstand extreme weather conditions, such as high heat, severe cold, and rain. The industrial-strength construction is enforced with Dri-Loc sealing to create an airtight and watertight shield. The Plano Molding All Weather Tactical Gun Case is opened and closed with dual-stage locking latches. There is also an air pressure release valve, emphasizing durability during airline travel. Inside these AR 15 cases are special foam padding, with a smooth surface for setting your firearm on and an eggshell patterned foam on the opposite side for distributing pressure and protecting the delicate features of your weapon. The foam inserts can be customizable.
Performance – The Plano Molding All Weather Tactical Gun Case is certainly a step above your usual AR hard case. Since it is specifically designed for rougher travel, such as on an airplane, you can trust that no damage will come to your weapon and any additional magazines stored within it. Plano Molding is also a trustworthy name in itself for providing secure and rugged transportation cases. We wish there was a little more focus on special locking to ensure that others can’t get into the case. Especially in a place like an airport, where you won’t be able to have an eye on your luggage the entire time, this feels like a necessity. As far as the interior design of this AR-15 gun case, we really don’t have any big complaints.
What we say – The Plano Molding All Weather Tactical Gun Case can be found online for anywhere between $80 and $130. A $50 difference in price is a little odd, we’ll admit, so we highly suggest doing some shopping around before clicking ‘buy’ on this one. If you plan to take your AR 15 into the air any time soon, then this is a great option for you.
- Dri-Loc seal and air pressure release valve
- Customizable foam padding
- No room for additional padlocks
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Case Club Premade AR-15 Waterproof Rifle Case
Materials – The Case Club Premade AR 15 Waterproof Rifle Case is a great hard case that combines the padding needed to resist rough travel and the security needed to avoid theft. The entire case is dustproof and waterproof and is tough enough to handle airport TSA and bumping up against other luggage. Included is an air pressure equalization valve for changing altitudes during flight. There are five built-in heavy-duty latches for opening and closing this AR-15 hard case, and two of them are locked with a set of keys, which are included. Padlockable holes have been built in if you’re interested in adding that additional level of security. Inside the case are two foam pads. The top foam pad has an eggshell pattern that can be easily wiped clean, and it distributes pressure across your rifle. The bottom foam pad has been pre-cut to the shape of your AR-15 and a mid-sized scope, and it includes space for additional magazines, accessories, and there’s even a precut space for a handgun. The handgun space is small enough to secure a compact weapon, but it’s perforated to allow room for a full-sized pistol as well. Silica gel inserts are installed in the foam padding to keep out moisture at all times.
Performance – Wow! The Case Club Premade AR-15 Waterproof Rifle Case has thought of pretty much everything when it comes to storing and transporting your firearms. We love every additional feature this AR case includes. We’re especially big fans of the silica gel inserts and the additional space given for a handgun and accessories. We think our one complaint here is that we’re not sure how we feel about the precut foam padding. While thoughtful, that also leaves us limited on how we get to utilize the space within the case. Plus, you don’t want to necessarily have to use your hard case for only an AR-15. We would prefer all-over foam padding with the eggshell pattern, but this can come down to personal preference.
What we say – The Case Club Premade AR-15 Waterproof Rifle Case costs about $180 online. This price covers a lot of innovation and thoughtful design for protecting your AR 15 during travel. If you take your firearms along for a lot of transportation, then this is definitely a worthy investment.
- Key lock and padlock holes for high level security
- Water proof and dust proof. Silica gel inserts
- Precut space for magazines, accessories, and additional handgun
- Precut foam may limit user on space usage
Pelican 1720 Rifle Case
Materials – The Pelican 1720 Rifle Case is a high-end product and it’s one of the best AR-15 cases you can buy online. This hard case is over 44 inches in length, 16 inches in width, and over 6 inches in depth. The exterior is made of high-impact polypropylene, and it has an open cell core and solid walls, which means it protects your weapons from water and dust and also has the ability to float. The lid is designed with a tongue and groove pattern and a neoprene o-ring to help keep out moisture and dirt. Included is a one-way automatic purge valve for equalizing air pressure during air travel. For security, this case uses polymer latches and provides holes for additional padlocking at the owner’s choosing. The foam padding within this AR-15 case is simplistic and dense; the blank canvas allows for you to store any weapons and accessories of your choosing, and the padding is dense to properly support and evenly distribute weight. Finally, this hard case comes with wheels for easy transport on foot!
Performance – Pelican has focused on improving the basic needs of an AR-15 case, and their 1720 Rifle Case is a pristine and trustworthy investment. We are big fans of the “open floorplan” style in this case’s interior as well as its simplicity. There’s more than enough room to store our AR 15, an additional pistol, two magazines, and a laser or tactical flashlight. The idea that this case could float if we ever found ourselves in that type of situation is pretty cool, so we really admire the open cell concept of the exterior casing. The higher price, however, makes us wonder if this hard case is actually lacking a bit in everything it could offer. While Pelican has made a very high-quality product, we have to consider what we’re getting for the money.
What we say – The Pelican 1720 Rifle Case costs around $200 to $250, so this is another item that you’ll have to do a little online shopping for to get the best price. It’s fairly expensive already, so your investment is going towards a trustworthy brand name and a hard case that won’t crap out on you after a few years.
- High quality and trustworthy brand name
- Open room for multiple weapons and accessories
- Open cell case floats but is also waterproof
- Most expensive option
Our Favorite AR 15 Hard Case
Our top pick has to go to the Case Club Premade AR 15 Waterproof Rifle Case. It covers everything we were looking for. It’s great for both land and air travel, and it offers multiple levels of protection against theft. However, it is priced at almost $200 and for less than 1/2 that price you can get our best budget buy the Flambeau Tactical Rifle Case. It is very close in quality and does the job for less than $100. What’s not to like? Which case are you interested in? Let us know in the comments below.