Rock River Arms LAR-15 outdoors

Best AR-15 Hard Cases to Keep Your Firearms Safe

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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. And for that, you’ll need the best AR-15 hard cases to transport your firearms safely.

Hard cases, unlike soft cases, have a more durable exterior, making them a more preferable choice among AR-15 owners.

So if you’re looking for a case, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve put together a review of the four best AR-15 hard cases in the market today. Now, let’s begin.

The 5 Best AR-15 Hard Cases Summary Table

Best Budget Buy
Flambeau Tactical Rifle Case
  • Plenty of room for firearm, magazines, accessories
  • Extra holes for padlocks
  • Shock- and rust-resistant
  • Clips that lock the case can come off
$82 Shop NowClick to read my review
Plano Molding All Weather Tactical Gun Case
  • Dri-Loc seal and air pressure release valve
  • Customizable foam padding
  • Additional handgun space
  • No room for additional padlocks
$114 Shop NowClick to read my review
Top Pick
Case Club Premade AR-15 Waterproof Rifle Case
  • 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
$199 Shop NowClick to read my review
Pelican 1720 Rifle Case
  • High quality and trustworthy brand name
  • Open room for multiple weapons and accessories
  • Open cell case floats but is also waterproof
  • Most expensive option
$259 Shop NowClick to read my review
SKB Sports 3I Series Hard Rifle Case
  • Premium quality and construction
  • Resistant to damage and water
  • Padlock holes and protection system safeguards contents
$520 Shop NowClick to read my review

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Buyer’s Guide to the Best AR-15 Hard Cases

When it comes to choosing the best AR-15 hard case, there are a few things you need to take into account. Here’s a buyer’s guide to help you make the best choice.

Durability

First things first, you’ll want a case that can take some knocks. Look for a case with a rugged shell that will stand up to rough handling.

The best AR-15 hard cases are typically made from polyurethane, aluminum, or a mixture of different materials.

Polyurethane is a durable, lightweight material that can withstand a lot of wear and tear.

Aluminum is also a durable material, but it’s heavier than polyurethane and may not be as comfortable to carry.

Pelican 1750 Rifle Case, for instance, is renowned for its robust construction. It’s the Arnold Schwarzenegger of hard cases!

Water Resistance

Another important factor to consider is water resistance.

Whether you’re a sunny weather shooter or like a bit of rain on the range, a waterproof and dustproof case is a must. Choose a case that will keep your rifle dry.

Weight and Portability

Let’s face it, nobody wants to lug around a case that feels like it’s full of bricks. If you’re going to be carrying your AR-15 around a lot, you’ll want a lighter case.

If the size is more important to you than weight, then you can go with a larger case. Look for a balance between robust protection and manageable weight.

Price

Finally, you need to consider the price. AR-15 hard cases range in price from around $50 to $200 or more.

Choose the best case you can afford. You don’t want to spend more than you have to, but you also don’t want to skimp on quality.

The 5 Best AR-15 Hard Cases

Flambeau Tactical Rifle Case

Dimensions: 50″ L x 9.25″ W x 3.5″ D

Flambeau Tactical Rifle Case


The Flambeau Tactical Rifle Case 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. It keeps your gun in place, thanks to the case’s shock-resistant convoluted interior foam.

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 firearm’s secure closure. It also includes a 10″ x 13″ magazine storage.

Inside, you will find Velcro straps, securing your stashed guns and magazines. Plus, the magazine storage lets you carry not only extra ammo alone. Rather, you can store other AR-15 accessories like flashlights and dot sights.

For the downside, 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 any way you want to go.

Pros
  • Made from durable plastic material
  • Affordable
  • Shock- and rust-resistant
  • Includes four locking points for extra security
  • Velcro straps keep your gun secured while on the move
  • Spacious and meets both TSA and airline requirements
Cons
  • Clips that lock the case may come off

Plano Molding All Weather Tactical Gun Case

Dimensions: 46″ L x 16″ W x 5.5″ D

Plano Molding All Weather Tactical Gun Case


The Plano Molding All Weather Tactical Gun Case features a very durable exterior casing 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.

This case is opened and closed with dual-stage locking latches. There is also an air pressure release valve, emphasizing durability during airline travel.

Inside you’ll find a 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. It also includes customizable foam inserts.

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.

One downside is that we wish there was a little more focus on special locking to ensure that others can’t get into the case. For instance, in a place like an airport where you won’t be able to have an eye on your luggage the entire time.

But as far as the interior design of this AR-15 gun case, we really don’t have any big complaints.

Pros
  • Dri-Loc seal and air pressure release valve
  • Designed for heavy-duty use and rough travels
  • Weatherproof and built to last
  • Customizable foam padding
Cons
  • No room for additional padlocks

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Case Club Premade AR-15 Waterproof Rifle Case

Dimensions: 36.5″ L x 17″ W x 6.7″ H

Case Club Premade AR 15 Waterproof Rifle Case


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 also 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.

It also features built-in pad-lockable holes, 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 you can easily wipe clean, and distributes pressure across your rifle.

On the other hand, 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. It also has installed silica gel inserts in the foam padding to keep out moisture at all times.

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.

Also, 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.

If you take your firearms along for a lot of transportation, then this is definitely a worthy investment.

Pros
  • Key lock and padlock holes for high level security
  • Water proof and dust proof design
  • Includes silica gel inserts
  • Precut space for magazines, accessories, and additional handgun
Cons
  • Precut foam may limit user on space usage

Pelican 1720 Rifle Case

Dimensions: 44″ L x 16″ W x 6″ D

Pelican 1720 Rifle Case


The Pelican 1720 Rifle Case is a high-end product made of high-impact polypropylene. 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. Also, the blank canvas allows you to store any weapons and accessories of your choosing, and the padding is dense to properly support and evenly distribute weight. Plus, this hard case comes with wheels for easy transport on foot.

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.

Additionally, 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.

The Pelican 1720 Rifle Case 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.

Pros
  • High-quality and trustworthy brand name
  • Open room for multiple weapons and accessories
  • Open-cell case floats but is also waterproof
Cons
  • Expensive

SKB Sports 3I Series Hard Rifle Case

Dimensions: 60″ x 18″ x 18″

When it comes to the conception and production of molded polymer transport cases, SKB is widely regarded as the industry’s preeminent leader.

Like other SKB cases, this hard case is designed to safeguard equipment used by a wide range of businesses, from music and pro-audio goods manufacturers to those in the military, industry, and medicine.

It’s also resistant to water and dust damage and can withstand a lot of force. It has padlock holes and stainless steel padlock protection clips to ensure your weapons are safe.

Pros
  • Premium quality and construction
  • Resistant to damage and water
  • Padlock holes and protection system safeguards contents
Cons
  • Expensive

Best AR-15 Hard Cases: 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 also 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 half of 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.

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