Anyone who owns rifles knows that there is nothing worse than accidentally damaging your expensive gear. That’s why it’s important that you have a vetted hard case to protect it against damage. Here is a rundown of our favorite hard cases for rifles based on experience and happy customer reviews!
Nanuk 990 - $453.97
One of the most popular hard case brands, Nanuk is known for great protection and features, and the Nanuk 990 easily lives up to the name. Upfront, all the cases in this article will protect your rifle well from weather and other damage; however, the other features of the 990 make it stand out.
The 990 measures interiorly at 47.1 x 17.3 x 6.6 inches which is a great mid-size and can accommodate for most rifle storing and travel needs. Most users have used this case to store a rifle along with a handgun or accessories.
While not the largest case, the 990 is still pretty hefty which is why it’s equipped with wheels and rubber-padded handles on both the top and side of the case for easy travel.
Many owners have also enjoyed the included foam insert for interior customization, the stacking feature for easy storage, as well as the Nanuk signature latches. Not only have many noted the Nanuk latches tend to be easier to use than other brands, but the ones on the 990 are also lockable so you don’t need to buy extra locks.
The 990 does come at a heftier price point of $453.97 CDN. While this is a little pricy for some, most users agree that the build quality and look of the 990 is worth the pretty penny, especially those who prefer buying local as the brand is devoted to keeping all of its production within Canada.
Plano All Weather Tactical Gun Case (42 inch) - $125.99
Although not as popular as other brands, Plano is shown to produce exceptional rifle hard cases that make both storage and travel easy. The Plano All Weather Tactical Gun Case (42 inch) is similar to the Nanuk 990 and is another great mid-sized case.
This case is slightly smaller than the 990, measuring interiorly at 43 x 13 x 5 inches, and is great for carrying rifles with a lot of accessories like the AR-15. While overall a great protective case (water and weatherproof), this case does not come with wheels which can make travelling difficult.
The All Weather Tactical runs for $125.99 CDN, which is a significantly lower cost than the Nanuk or Pelican models which usually run for between 300-400$. So, at about a quarter of the price of competitors, the All Weather Tactical is a good budget case.
While some users have commented that the exterior casing and other parts feel a little cheaply made compared to other brands, many still find the case to be good for the price if you’re on a budget and are only looking for a simple storage solution for your rifle.
Pelican 1700 - $239
Pelican is another highly respected and popular brand. If you’re looking for a lighter, compact case, the Pelican 1700 is a perfect option.
The 1700 has interior dimensions of 35.75 x 13.5 x 5.25 inches - a little small, but good for shorter rifles, like collapsible stock AR’s or bullpup rifles - but nothing much bigger. Owners have commented that you could squeeze in up to a x95 Tavor with 16.5 inch barrel, but it would be a tight fit.
Overall, majority of owners were pleased with the Pelican 1700. A tiny caveat, though: the 1700 doesn’t have a fold down handle unlike similar cases, which some buyers have said can become annoying as it gets in the way when not in use.
At $239 CDN, the Pelican 1700 is around a middle price point. However, while it is cheaper than others, as mentioned it is also quite smaller. If you don’t have a lot to store or your rifle is on the shorter side, the 1700 is a great fit, but if you know you’re going to need some extra room for a longer rifle or other accessories, a bigger case is worth the extra cash.
Pelican 1770 - $541
Measuring at 54.58 x 15.58 x 8.63 inches (interior), the Pelican 1770 is a whopping 20 inches longer than the 1700 and 10 inches longer than the Nanuk 990, leaving significant room if you’re looking to store or travel with a lot of gear.
With all that space, the configurations for the Pelican 1770 are nearly endless. The case can hold up to three rifles, and many buyers have configured theirs to hold rifles and handguns in the same place.
The 1770 also comes with wheels for easier travel, however this case does not come with a side handle for brief-case style carry. Many owners have noted that this becomes highly inconvenient as the case requires two people to carry it if you need to lift it anywhere or are in an area where it can’t be rolled.
Both the Pelican 1770 and 1700 come with high-quality protection, weather- and shockproof, and have the Pelican limited lifetime warranty. However, it’s important to note that most larger Pelican cases like these do not come with any foam included, so you will have to purchase protective foam separately.
For some users, this has been a deal breaker with the 1770 since it already comes with it’s own hefty price tag of $541 CDN.
Time To Make Your Smart Choice
Now that you know the ins and outs of the top hard cases for rifles, you can confidently pick out your own! But remember, the most important aspect of any hard case is protection, and all of these cases will do a great job of keeping your gear safe no matter where you go, so ultimately, your decision comes down to two things: what size case you need to hold your rifle or other gear, and what other features you need from your case.