July 5th, 2020

Size Matters — Big Gun Cases for Long-Barreled Rifles

large rifle transport case nylon SKB Pelican Plano Bulldog

Modern F-Class and Palma Rifles are long. With barrels up to 32″ in length these big rigs won’t fit in your average gun case — either fabric covered or hard shell. Likewise, it seems like PRS rifle are getting longer each season, as competitors find longer barrels provide greater velocity and heavier rifles have more stability, allowing shooters to see hits better.

So, if you have a rifle that measures over 48″ in length, you have two options for transport — first separate the stock from the barreled action, or get a very large carry case that allows extended length rifles to be transported. This article reviews hard and soft rifle cases options for long-barreled rifles.

Large Hard Shell Rifle Cases (at least 50″ Interior)

What to Look For in Hard Rifle Carry Cases
When you are considering a large rifle case you, first measure your rifle and make sure it will fit within the INTERIOR dimensions. With some rifles you can make more clearance by removing or adjusting the buttplate system. Then consider the duties. If you will be traveling by commercial airline, you definitely need a hard case — no way around that. Will you be carrying one rifle or two — that will dictate the case you buy. For max flexibility you’ll want foam like the SKB so you can have various rifles. For max security during transport, however, it makes sense to have dense foam that is customized to fit your rifle.

SKB Double Rifle Case, 56″

skb double rifle case 56

Expensive but built like a tank — that describes SKB Cases. These high-quality hard sided cases are ideal for airline transport, with very tough exteriors, great padding, and strong hinges. The SKB model 2SKB5009 Double Rifle Case is an excellent choice for carrying two rifles long distances. This has a very tough exterior with a metal middle frame for extra strength. Priced at $304.99, this case has exterior dimensions: 56″ L x 16.5″ W x 9.5″ H. This photo shows the case carrying both an M1A and an M1 Garand. NOTE: The foam is not really customizable. This is not the best choice if you plan to carry a single rifle and a spotting scope and a second barrel.

Pelican Vault Series Rifle Cases

firearms gun transport case all weather waterproof airline approved

Pelican Products, known for premium hard-shell transport cases also offers a more affordable VAULT series of cases. Pelican’s VAULT cases offer durability and security at a lower price point. VAULT cases range in price from $39.99 to $199.95 and are backed by a 1-year guarantee. The VAULT rifle cases all feature wheels, easy-to-use push-button latches, and four stainless steel lock hasps for security. There is also a brightly colored Hi-Viz strip on the front of Pelican’s VAULT cases. This will make it easier to spot your case at airport baggage areas. At around $200.00, the model V800 double-rifle case features a 53″ x 16″ x 6″ interior. That’s long enough for F-Class rifles and tactical rigs with brakes. The model V770 single-rifle case is 50″ × 10″ × 6″ inside. That’s still big enough for most hunting, varmint, and benchrest rifles.

Plano Two-Gun Tactical Case

firearms gun transport case all weather waterproof airline approved

This Plano two-gun case is Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in wheeled, heavy-duty firearms cases. This is offered in three sizes: 36″, 42″, and 52″. We like the biggest 52″ version, ($115.99 on Amazon), as it is long enough inside to fit most scoped match rifles. Alternatively, if you have a really long F-Class, ELR, or Palma rig, you can detach the barreled action from the stock, and run the two sections in the shorter 42″ case. The big case lets you easily carry TWO scoped hunting rifles. That’s great because this case is strong enough for airline travel, meeting FAA requirements for checked baggage. This Plano case offers a good balance between strength and weight, all for a reasonable cost.

Large Soft Rifle Cases (at Least 50″ Interior)

What to Look For in Soft Rifle Carry Cases
With soft cases, look at the quality of zippers, slings, and shoulder straps. It’s nice to have pockets, but remember most of your accessories (spotting scopes, stands, bipods, rear bags etc.) will be carried separately, so the pockets may not really be that critical. Consider the fabric — is it waterproof? That’s important if you live in a wet region such as Oregon or Washington.

Champions Choice Deluxe 58″ Rifle Case, $72.00

Champion's Choice extra long palma rifle case 58

Many of our readers shoot Palma, F-Class, and ELR rifles with long barrels (up to 35″). It’s difficult to find high-quality, well-padded cases that fit very long rifles. Champion’s Choice offers just such a product, the 58″ Deluxe Soft Rifle Case. With thick 1″ padding on each side, big pockets, and backpack straps, this black/blue/white gun case has earned rave reviews from our Forum members. There’s plenty of room for big scopes, and it even comes with an internal tube to hold your cleaning rod.

Bulldog 54″ Long Range Rifle Case, $106.99

large rifle transport case nylon SKB Pelican Plano Bulldog

Highly rated by buyers, Bulldog Long Range Rifle Case fits rifles up to 52.5″ long. Priced at $106.99 at Guncases.com, the Bulldog LR has many impressive features, and is one of the best soft cases you can buy for long match rifles. This versatile case boasts a tough 600-dernier water-resistent outer shell, plus quilted inner lining with Velcro tie downs. There are two zippered center pockets plus an external zippered pocket at front for suppressor storage. The main compartment zippers are lockable.

Creedmoor Sports 52″ Nylon Case for Match Rifles, $76.95

Creedmoor Sports 52

Creedmoor Sports 5252″ Creedmoor Sports Soft Case
At the request of many High Power shooters, Creedmoor Sports has created a high-grade 52″x10″ softcase. That’s tall and long enough to fit a Tubb 2000, or AR-based spacegun with long barrel. The Creedmoor case is one quality offering, with nice 1″ thick close-cell foam padding plus tough Cordura nylon on the outside and nylon pack cloth on the inside. Both materials are urethane-coated for water proofing. Another nice feature are the integral backpack straps (see photo left). These free your hands to carry rests, spotting scopes or other gear.

The Creedmoor 52″x10″ case comes in Forest Green ($76.95, N152A), and Royal Blue ($76.95, N152C). Creedmoor also offers a similar, slightly smaller 48″x12″ case for Service Rifles in Green or Blue.

Savior 2-Gun Backpack Rifle Cases, 51″ or 55″

rifle cases sale

Savior double rifle cases come in sizes from 36″ to 55″ in an assortment of colors. A great choice for long PRS and match rifles, the biggest Savior Gun Case (55″ model) can hold two rifles up to about 53.5″ OAL. Multiple colors and five lengths are available: 36″, 42″, 46″, 51″, 55″. The big 55″ case is $96.99 at Amazon while the 51″ version is $91.99. With comfortable shoulder straps, these cases can hold TWO rifles and just about all the accessories you’d want to pack.

Extreme 52″ Midsouth Gun Case (Budget Option)

Extreme 52

For those on a tight budget, Midsouth Shooters Supply offers an Extreme 52″ padded gun case for just $30.16. This thickly-padded case is high enough in the center to fit most scoped rifles — even with big Nightforce scopes. Made by Bulldog Cases, the all-black Extreme 52″ case features a soft faux-fur inner lining, an external accessory pocket, and a removable shoulder strap.

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December 14th, 2019

Great Gun Cases for Long-Distance Transport

firearms gun transport case all weather waterproof airline approved

Now that you’ve spent thousands of dollars on the new benchrest, PRS, ELR, or hunting rifle (and thousands more on optics), how are you going to get it to the range and/or hunting grounds? It’s important to transport your valuable firearms in high-quality gun cases. Good padded soft cases can work, but for long-distance hauling (and all air transport), we recommend hard cases with quality foam inside.

Choosing a Rifle Transport Case

Before he retired, Forum member Ron D. served as a Police Officer at Chicago’s O’Hare airport. Ron offers some very important advice for shooters traveling with firearms and expensive optics: “Buy the best [rifle case] that you can afford. Don’t cry when your $3,000+ Benchrest rifle has a cracked stock or broken scope. Think about what it would be like to travel across the country and arrive with a damaged rifle. Remember the Samsonite commercial. (For you younger shooters, it shows a monkey throwing the suitcase around in his cage at the zoo.)

Baggage handling is NOT a fine art. There is no guarantee that your rifle case will be on top of all the other baggage. Then there is shifting of baggage in the belly of the plane. Ponder that for a while. Rifle and pistol cases must be locked. It doesn’t take a Rocket Scientist to figure out that a simple pry tool will open most case locks. There is not much that you can do to disguise a rifle case. It is what it is, and opportunists know this. Among thieves, it doesn’t take long for the word to get around about a NEW type of case.”

Customizing the Foam Interiors of Gun Carry Cases

For the best fit of your firearms and accessories in a foam-interior hard case, you should customize the foam to fit. Some cases have “pluckable” foam. With these you remove small squares one an a time until the stored items fit. With other cases with dense foam interiors, you’ll need to cut the foam to fit. Here are two videos that show the process of tailoring foam to a rifle using an electric cutting tool. Watch these videos carefully — they can really help create the best custom-fit for your firearms.


firearms gun transport case all weather waterproof airline approved

Pelican 1750 Waterproof Travel Vault Case

firearms gun transport case all weather waterproof airline approved

Guncases.com, an Optics Planet company, offers a wide selection of quality, durable gun cases. One of the best units offered is Pelican 1750 Waterproof Rifle Case – Travel Vault Protector. If you’re headed to a very rainy/snowy climate, or transporting your rifle on a boat, consider this option. The waterproof Pelican 1750 case measures 53.00″ x 16.00″ x 6.12″ outside and weighs 25.5 pounds unladen. It features an O-Ring Seal, Pressure Relief Valve, and a lifetime warranty. It is offered in three colors, OD Green, Black, and Desert Tan, starting at $284.49. This is pricey, but it is one of the highest-rated cases you can buy.

Pelican Vault Series Rifle Cases

firearms gun transport case all weather waterproof airline approved

Pelican Products, known for premium hard-shell transport cases also offers a more affordable VAULT series of cases. Pelican’s VAULT cases offer durability and security at a lower price point. VAULT cases range in price from $39.99 to $199.99 and are backed by a 1-year guarantee. The VAULT rifle cases all feature wheels, easy-to-use push-button latches, and four stainless steel lock hasps for security. There is also a brightly colored Hi-Viz strip on the front of Pelican’s VAULT cases. This will make it easier to spot your case at airport baggage areas. The model V800 double-rifle case features a 53″ x 16″ x 6″ interior. That’s long enough for F-Class rifles and tactical rigs with brakes. The model V770 single-rifle case is 50″ × 10″ × 6″ inside. That’s still big enough for most hunting, varmint, and benchrest rifles.

SKB Double Rifle Case

firearms gun transport case all weather waterproof airline approved

GunCases.com also offers SKB Gun Cases. The SKB model 2SKB5009 Double Rifle Case is an excellent choice carrying two rifles long distances. This has a very tough exterior with a metal middle frame for extra strength. Priced at $289.99, this case has exterior dimensions: 56″ L x 16.5″ W x 9.5″ H. This photo shows the case carrying both an M1A and an M1 Garand. NOTE: The foam is not really customizable. This is not the best choice if you plan to carry a single rifle and a spotting scope and a second barrel.

Plano Two-Gun Tactical Case

firearms gun transport case all weather waterproof airline approved

This Plano two-gun case is Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in wheeled, heavy-duty firearms cases. This is offered in three sizes: 36″, 42″, and 52″. We like the biggest 52″ version, ($96.21 on Amazon), as it is long enough inside to fit most scoped match rifles. Alternatively, if you have a really long F-Class, ELR, or Palma rig, you can detach the barreled action from the stock, and run the two sections in the shorter 42″ case. The big case lets you easily carry TWO scoped hunting rifles. That’s great because this case is strong enough for airline travel, meeting FAA requirements for checked baggage. This Plano case offers a good balance between strength and weight, all for a reasonable cost. Yes a Pelican 1750 is somewhat better, but that will cost about $285.00 — three times as much.

CaseCruzer Handgun Cases

CaseCruzer gun pistol case revolver magnum 6-pack 5-pack 4-pack 3-pack

A California company, CaseCruzer, makes the nicest multi-pistol hard cases we’ve ever seen. With capacities from 3 pistols to 6 pistols, these lockable range cases hold handguns securely in angled “quick-draw” slots. In addition to the molded pistol carriers, there are slots for magazines together with a separate compartment for muffs, ammo, and other accessories. Starting at $240.00 MSRP for the Quick Draw 3-Pack, these boxes are expensive, but they offer great protection with great usability. Water-tight and dust-proof, CaseCruzer cases are airline approved (ATA 300).Now that you’ve spent thousands of dollars on the new benchrest, PRS, ELR, or hunting rifle (and thousands more on optics), how are you going to get it to the range or hunting grounds? It’s important to transport your valuable firearms in very high quality gun cases. Good padded soft cases can work, but for long-distance hauling (and all air transport), we recommend hard cases with quality foam inside.

Video Tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.

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