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.
At the end of this review, we’ll let you know what our top pick is for the best AR-15 hard case. Happy travels!
Materials – The Flambeau Tactical Rifle Case makes a great AR-15 hard case, as it’s 41.5 inches long, 15 inches wide, and 5 inches deep. The exterior is manufactured with polypropylene and injection molded for a hard protective barrier between your precious cargo and the outside elements. The Flambeau Tactical Rifle Case comes with Flambeau ZeRust corrosion protection, and it opens and closes with four Safe Shot Latches. There are also four additional holes around the case for padlocks, which can be added for additional security from theft. Inside the case you’ll find a classic egg shell foam padding to evenly distribute weight. There is room for storing additional magazines as well as any other light weight and compact accessories around your AR-15. There are also four Velcro straps included for mounting your firearm and other items within the hard case.
Performance – The Flambeau Tactical Rifle Case is a great option for simple travel or destination A to B transportation. Although the exterior casing isn’t made of the toughest or most durable material, it’s good for keeping your AR-15 from bumping or colliding with other items in the back of your car or amongst luggage. This case is all about securing your most important firearms from sticky fingers and thieves. The additional padlock holes really enforce this idea. We really appreciate the four Velcro straps included inside the case, and you can use your own strength to keep your gun and accessories tied down as tightly as you would like. There’s plenty of open room within the case to allow you to get a little creative as to how you use the space without pieces knocking into each other during travel. Allover, this is a great basic AR 15 case for low budgets.
What we say – The Flambeau Tactical Rifle Case will cost your about $50 online, which is a really good and low price. If you only need an AR-15 case for simple transport and don’t necessarily require the toughest materials, then this is a great way to save some money and still get what you need.
- Lowest cost
- Plenty of room for firearm, magazines, accessories
- Extra holes for padlocks
- Not the most durable casing
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 and 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 the 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 for your 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
- PLANO GUN CASES: Protecting your passion since 1952
- FEATURES: The All Weather Tactical gun cases provide the highest level of protection for your firearms. With rugged, industrial strength construction and continuous Dri Loc Seal, All Weather gun cases create a watertight and airtight shield
- Watertight Seal, Pressure Relief valve, Secure Draw-Down Gun Case Latches. Interior specs: 43 x 13 x 5 inches. Exterior specs: 46 x 16 x 5.5 inches
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 dust proof and water proof, 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 is has an egg shell 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 hand gun. 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 allover 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
- Heavy Duty waterproof case with pre-cut foam holds AR-15 Rifle with collapsible stock (Max overall rifle length of 34.8") along with a Semi-Auto Pistol. Case also fits x2 (standard or pmag) 30rd 5.56/.223 magazines & x1 pistol magazine (+1 in the pistol magwell). Built in accessory pocket will hold loose gear such as safety equipment, tools, and ammunition. Pistol cutout also includes perforations for a flashlight or laser. Stay organized, look professional & protect your gear.
- Custom foam is closed cell & meets Mil-Spec Packaging requirements. We have included a variety of perforations to accommodate a wide range of optics (within 3.7" height) along with under barrel or over barrel attachments such as lasers, flashlights & foregrips. Use the included razor blade to connect the perforations so you can accommodate your unique rifle setup. If you do not need to remove a specific perforation, leave it in place and it won’t accidently tear nor will you be able to see it.
- Case comes with a small waterproof accessory box that has a designated cutout to store small items. Also included is a reusable moisture removing silica gel canister to prevent gun rust. The canister has a built in viewing window that notifies you when saturated at which point you can recharge it by baking it in the oven. Once baked the canister will be ready for use again. This recharge process can be done indefinitely. Your climate & rifle usage will dictate how often a recharge is required.
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 provide 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 fan 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 and good standard 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
- Pelican cases are kept watertight through the use of a tongue and groove fit and a polymer o-ring.
- Pelican cases come standard with an Automatic Pressure Equalization Valve which releases built up air pressure while keeping water out.
- Stainless steel reinforced padlock protectors
Our Favorite AR 15 Hard Case
Our top pick has to go to the Case Club Premade AR 15 Waterproof Rifle Case. Not only is this AR case affordable, but it covered everything we were looking for to the highest degree. It’s great for both land and air travel, and it offers multiple levels of protection against theft. We did have our one complaint about the precut foam limiting the owner, but the great thing about foam is that it can be replaced or cut to your liking. This would make a great AR 15 hard case for any gunowner.
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