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Expert Shopper Sports & Fitness

Best handgun case

Which handgun case is best?

Unlike gun safes, which are generally used for long-term storage of firearms, gun cases are designed for short-term use when transporting guns between two locations. Handgun cases come in both soft and large models.

Some handgun carrying cases are small and only intended for carrying a single weapon. Others, such as the Case Club 5 Pistol Gen 2, can accommodate several firearms, magazines and additional accessories. There are several things you’ll want to consider when choosing your gun case, including both portability and security.

What to know before you buy a handgun case

Hard or soft

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make when buying a handgun case is whether you prefer a hard or soft case. Each offers their own set of pros and cons that should be carefully considered. 

  • Without a doubt, hard handgun cases offer more protection for your firearm. They are made of hard plastic, aluminum or fiberglass and usually feature a soft foam material on the inside. Most hard handgun cases are crashproof and equipped with reinforced locking points. Many are also waterproof. The downside to hard cases is that they can be heavy, bulky and a hassle to transport. They also make noise when opening and closing them, which can be a problem for hunters in the field.
  • Soft handgun cases are more convenient to transport thanks to a lightweight and usually minimalist design. They are also quiet when opening and closing and are most often more affordable than hard cases. The downside is that they don’t offer as much protection to your weapon. 


Anytime you are transporting or storing a firearm, security should be a top concern. While it is best to keep the case within sight when on the go, there are times this simply won’t be possible. For example, when traveling by plane you cannot carry a gun on board. Instead, you will have to check it with your luggage. For this reason, it is often best to purchase a lockable handgun case. Unlike gun safes, which feature integrated locks, most handgun cases will need to be secured with an external padlock.


Because handgun carrying cases are designed for transporting your firearm, it is important to consider portability when making your purchase. Ideally, whatever case you buy should be easy to carry or pack into other luggage as needed. That said, you’ll need to balance portability with other features you want, such as room for accessories or multiple firearms. 

Features to look for in a quality handgun case


Some handgun cases can only accommodate a single firearm while others are designed to carry five or more. In addition to the guns themselves, many cases also feature space for extra magazines, gun cleaning tools and more. It is best to choose a case that perfectly accommodates the weapons and supplies you need without too much extra space. Otherwise, it can be overly bulky, which makes transporting it more of a hassle.

Gun positioning

The majority of handgun carrying cases hold guns lying on their side. However, if you prefer to have quick access to your guns without compromising on safety, you may want to purchase a case that holds guns in the quickdraw position. These allow you to pick your firearms up safely by the grip in a natural hand position.


If you think there is the potential for your gun case to be exposed to water during transport, it is best to purchase a model that is waterproof. These ensure your gun won’t be damaged from moisture no matter what type of elements the case is exposed to.


Along with the exterior material of the case, the internal components also play a role in how well they protect your firearm. Most hard models feature thick foam padding on the inside, while soft cases tend to have a soft fabric or thin foam padding. In addition to the protection it offers, pay attention to the versatility of the padding. On some models, the foam padding is customizable to fit firearms, magazines and accessories of various sizes.

Airline approved

If you plan on traveling by plane with your firearm, make sure to purchase an airline-approved handgun carrying case. The TSA requires that any case used to check a gun be hard-sided and lockable. 

How much can you expect to spend on a handgun case

Most soft handgun cases cost between $15-$50. Hard handgun carrying cases tend to range between $20-$125.

Handgun case FAQ

Do I need to remove ammo from my gun before putting it inside the case?

A. While there are no requirements to remove ammo from a gun before putting it inside of a carrying case, unless you are checking it for a flight, it is considered best practice to do so for safety reasons. 

Can I use a handgun carrying case for long-term storage?

A. While most people choose to use a handgun safe for long-term storage, you may use a carrying case if you prefer. That said, it is still important to follow safe practices for doing so, which include keeping it out of reach of others, locking it, removing the ammo from the gun and engaging the weapon’s safety. Ideally, the ammo should be stored in a separate location too.

What is the best handgun case to buy?

Top handgun case

Case Club 5 Pistol Gen 2

What you need to know: If you need to transport several handguns, there are few better options than this model, which has room for five firearms and stores them in the quickdraw position.

What you’ll love: It can also accommodate up to 20 magazines and has a customizable foam insert. Plus, it is backed by a lifetime warranty.

What you should consider: Some may find it overly bulky for their needs.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top handgun case for the money

Plano 1404 Protector Series Two Pistol Case

What you need to know: Surprisingly affordable for the quality, the Plano 1404 offers a lot of value for your money and has enough padding to keep firearms well protected from the bumps and bruises of the road.

What you’ll love: It has a large molded handle that makes it comfortable to carry, and it features secure, lockable latches for safety.

What you should consider: The exterior material is more pliable than some would like and it may not be suitable for airline travel

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Finpac Pistol Rug Case

What you need to know: If you are looking for a simple, streamlined case that is convenient to transport, this soft model fits the bill.

What you’ll love: The polyester fabric exterior is durable and water-resistant, and it features a metal D-ring on the end that serves as a locking point.

What you should consider: It doesn’t accommodate large pistols or those with attachments.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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