October 14th, 2008

Soft Gun Cases for Long-Barreled Rifles

Typical soft cases for scoped rifles are 45-46″ overall. These may lack clearance for large, high-magnification scopes, and the front section may be too tight for rifles with a 3″-wide forearm. Our Assistant Editor Jason Baney recently posed the question, “Who makes a high-quality soft case for large varmint and BR-style rifles with wide forearms and barrels 27″ or longer?”

We’ve done some research and identified some affordable options. While there are dozens of possible choices, the products shown below all offer some nice features and cost less than $45.00. NOTE: The Plano case offers a plastic-reinforced rubberized muzzle protector box. These are found on many Kolpin soft cases as well. We think a rubber/plastic nose guard is very important. This ensures your gun can’t slip out of the case muzzle first. A nose-guard also shields the delicate crown against hard objects and metal zippers. (Sooner or later you WILL drop a rifle, and they usually fall nose-first.) Remember that even the finest soft case is no substitute for a sturdy hard case. Also, hard cases are mandatory for airline transport.


48″ Length
Plano’s model 64860 (Brown) or 64800 (Gray) are nice cases that feature hard nose protectors and high-density foam padding. At 48″ overall, the Plano is 2″ longer than most cases. It boasts interior tie-down straps, two external zippered pockets, and an adjustable, padded shoulder strap. Users report the padding is excellent and the 600 dernier material and zippers are very durable. Price is $25.95 at PyramidAir.com.


49″ Length
The Gamo case (item 6212374) is very inexpensive (just $12.99 at AirGunWarehouse), but owners report it is a “great value for the money”. The 48″ interior length should handle most rifles with a 28″ barrel, and there is ample space for a large scope. The case has one large pocket and a fabric shoulder strap on the reverse side. The interior has a soft, fleece-like lining and there is a rubberized, protective layer on the front, rear, and bottom. However, we warn that, because there is no hard nose box, if you leave a gap in the zippers near the front, the muzzle could exit the case. There are two zipper pull-tabs, front and back. Zip them up so they meet near the middle. Also we suggest putting a small rubber cap on the muzzle so it doesn’t catch on the zipper. The same advice applies to any soft case without a plastic nose guard.


50″ Length
The Allen “Euro” is a quality 50″-long case with enough interior space to handle 29-30″ barrels. This deluxe case features a fatter/taller front section to fit guns with wide forearms or attached bipods. This would be a good choice for a long-barreled varmint rifle. It features very thick foam padding (1.5″ per side) and multiple, velcro-closed external pockets. Midsouth Shooters Supply offers this case in hunter green (item 168-91550) for $35.66. A similar Allen-made case in blue or tan sold as the Remington Yukon. The Yukon is $33.66 at Cheaper than Dirt.


52″ Length
Among the ultra-long soft cases, the Kolpin Deluxe Soft Armor Gun Boot is one of the best you can buy. It has the nose-guard we recommend and is very thickly padded. A molded EVA foam bottom with a rubberized “track” allows the case to stand on its own. What are the negatives? Because Kolpin’s Soft Armor Gun Boot is designed for both scoped rifles and shotguns, the width of the front third of the case is pretty narrow. Also there is less clearance at the top than with some other soft cases. However, unless you have an extremely high scope mount or very long stock, this case should work for those long rifles with 30-32″ barrels. The Soft Armor Gun Boot is typically priced from $40-$55.00. Natchez Shooters Supply lists it for $45.50 but they are currently out of stock.


Bulldog Cases offers a bargain-priced 52″ soft case. If your rifle has a 31-32″ barrel, this Bulldog case should handle the length. The 52″ Bulldog features 2-1/4″ total padding thickness, a zippered slash pocket, and a shoulder strap. The 52″ Bulldog is offered in tan (BD242-52), green (BD241-52), or Mossy Oak camo (BD244-52). This case is available directly from Bulldog for $29.99. It is also sold by other vendors on the web for similar prices. NOTE: This case has no nose guard and has less padding than the cases listed above. It’s a “bare-bones” case, but if you have a super-long barrel, there aren’t many other inexpensive choices.

Battle Lake Predator Case — Plenty Long, but Pricey
Battle Lake Outdoors makes a 52″-long “Predator” rifle case that “has the best protection possible in a semi-soft case” according to one of our Forum members, Ron G. (aka “Radar”). The “Predator” case has an impact resistent .070″ plastic shell topped by high-grade 1000 Dernier Cordura nylon. The linining is soft “Chambrelle” fiber, which wicks away moisture. Overall, it is an impressive product, but it lacks a plastic nose guard and it costs $89.95. That puts it out of our list of “under $45.00″ products, but this case is worth considering if price is not a major factor.