5 Best Pistol Cases for Your Firearms 2021 | Detailed Buying Guide

It doesn't matter if you're driving, flying, or simply chilling in the range with your buddies, owning a weapon is a multifaceted subject. You gotta think about cases, cabinets, safes, foam cuts, and locks. Because keeping your firearm in the best pistol case is an absolute necessity. It's necessary not only for your weapon's sake but also for ensuring the safety of others who might come into contact with it. Plus, you need to secure the gun from theft and unauthorized users as well. The goal of this guide is to teach you all about the best pistol cases out there - how to pick them out, what features to look for, and even a few recommendations.

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Mini Review: 5 Best Gun Case Locks

Brand Name

Pros & Cons

Rating

Price

Dinosaurized Pistol Case

Pros: Withstand shocks and bumps, Well-formed interior, easy to open locks

Cons: Pricey

4.8

$79.99

Premium Tactical Supply

Pros: good material, reasonable price

Cons: suits small gun sizes, poor lock quality

4.7

$54.95

Plano 10137

Pros: handle to carry around, spacious, good material

Cons: lock is a pain, too small in size

4.6

$39.99

MTM

Pros: Good customer service, deep padding, pass TSA rules

Cons: flimsy, bad smell

4.5

$17.43

Cedar Mill

Pros: water and dust resistant, sturdy and spacious.

Cons: a bit flimsy, thick foam

4.5

$59.99

Best Pistol Cases To Buy In 2021: Our Top 5 Picks

1. THE OUTRIGHT WINNER: Dinosaurized Pistol Case 

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Why it's our #1 Pick  

Dinosaurized Pistol Case is your only way to get a

• Hardshell pistol case

• With Military Specifications

• For a reasonable price

Dinosaurized Pistol Case completely meets Military Specifications in Immersion, Vibration, Dust, and Transit Drop per Mil-Std—810G. Your gun is 100% protected inside of this tough, hard case. Talking about the build, it is made out of thick, sturdy plastic. Reinforced construction means it barely bends when you press it down.

For locking, there are draw-down latches that are easy to release and feel strong with minimal play. There are also watertight seals. Inside the case is a double-density foam that is easy to use. It perfectly insulates your gun from shakes and bumps.

As with all Dinosaurized pistol cases, this one is Made in the USA. We're sure any patriot will appreciate the print on top of the case!


Pros

• Best suited for revolvers up to 8.5 inch

• Withstand shocks and bumps

• Well-formed interior

• Well-structured and easy to open locks


2. THE RUNNER UP: Premium Tactical Supply Single Pistol Case 

The perfect range case to carry your Glock handguns, 380, Ruger 1911, or a Taurus PT92 AF. The economical price of the case also prompted us to include it on this list of top 5 gun cases for range and air travel.

This single pistol case features two sliding locks on either side of the handle opening. This creates a tight closure and locks your rifle securely.

The manufacturer has recently started shipping these gun carrying cases with thick foam padding - based on buyer feedback. The foam is rigid enough to provide a tighter fit for your firearm. Though foam customization isn't a breezy affair because you'll have to cut it with a knife. Some pistol owners prefer this way because they can cut out exactly what they need to hold the gun safely in place.

Premium Tactical Supply Single Pistol Case is TSA-authorized and qualifies as a “locking case” for several state laws.


Pros

• Works great for its intended use

• Can be used to store or transport rifles

• Able to hold magazines and some ammo

• Reasonable price


Con

• The lock is hard to lock/unlock

• A bit hard interior


3. ALSO GREAT: The Cedar Mills Fine Firearms Pistol Case 

The Cedar Mills Fine Firearms Pistol Case is for you if you want a hard gun case with a double-latch locking system. With a 3.5-inch base depth and a lightweight body, it's perfect for a trip to the shooting range or flying to a competition. Yes, it's airline approved and TSA-authorized as well as water-, splash-, UV-, and dust-proof.

And you'll love the double-layered foam interior - an upper egg-type foam layer, and a pick and pluck bottom layer - that'll keep your pistol from bouncing around getting scratched.

The carbon fiber reinforced polypropylene exterior of this gun case protects the interior (and your weapon) from abuse. When there is an elevated pressure-type situation, this hard case will flex and distribute pressure to a larger area, thereby decreasing the pressure per square inch.

Moving on to the price point: you can buy this pistol case for less than one-third the price of its competitors. It's a value for money deal, no matter how you look at it.

Any downsides? Well, the build quality could have been better.


Pros

• Spacious interior

• Fits most guns under 6"

• Water and dust resistant


Con

• A bit flimsy

• The foam inside is bulky and hard to remove


4. ALTERNATIVE 1: Plano 10137 Gun Guard SE Single Scoped Pistol Case 

The 1010137 SE Series is Plano's budget single pistol case. Advertised as the best pistol case for budding sportsmen, the 1010137 offers padlock tabs and contoured recessed latches to secure your firearm. There are also steel hinge pins to enhance the durability of the case. What

It has high-density interlocking foam that can hold two pistols. Just like Premium Tactical Supply Single Pistol Case, you can 'customize' the foam with a knife or razor blade. 1010137s internal dimensions of 7.125X 11.625 X 2.25 inches make it a perfect case for a longer barrel pistol, extra magazines, ammo, or other accessories. And yes, you are sure to get a nod of approval/appreciation when declaring this pistol case at checked baggage.

If you are wondering about the bummers, well, the lock system has design flaws that may compromise its security.

In short, be it a quick drive to the range, or a long haul flight, Plano is a good carrying case, but not just enough to secure your pistol 100%.


Pros

• Inexpensive

• Comes with a handle unlike many hard case models

• Spacious enough to fit guns and mags.


Con

• Security flaws. 


5. ALTERNATIVE 2: MTM Case-Gard Two Pistol Handgun Case 

The MTM Case-Gard Two Pistol Handgun Case is designed for more experienced shooters, generously sized to hold two pistols or 2 revolvers with an 8-inch barrel, magazines, and ammo.

For locking, there are two padlocks. The snap-latches are reinforced with durable material and they open and close easily and securely. The manufacturer has also given a provision for a trigger lock. Sounds like a great case for your firearm?

The case is rigidly built with rugged polypropylene to ensure that your rifle is safe and everything else in the case. From the inside, the thick foam feels very nice but you'll have to cut it with a razor blade - this isn't pick and pluck.

To sum it up, this one is a 'simple, serve its purpose' gun case. Did we forget to mention that you can buy it for half price at least of other models that may be a heavier duty for travel and carrying?

Talking about the shortcomings, it is on the flimsy side and not as secure as the high-end gun cases. You get what you pay for.


Pros

• Cheap

• Pass TSA requirements for firearm travel

• Deep padding

• Generously sized


Con

• Slightly flimsy

• It is not a high-end secure case


Best Pistole Cases - Points to Consider Before Buying 

There are plenty of things to consider before moving on to buying the pistol cases. We hope that through the list below, you can save yourself from the pain of having to sort through hundreds of names by finding out what really makes a great pistol carrying case or rather how to choose the perfect pistol case.


1. Size 

Of course, size cannot be ignored. The best pistol case for your gunwill fit around the weapon like a second skin. If you're planning to carryammo, mags, and other accessories, go for a model with extra pockets. Also,ensure the zipper isn't rubbing against the run - you wouldn't want to damagethe gun's finish.   

Large gun carrying cases can hold up to 16 guns at a time but theyare pricey. And they are best suited for firearm enthusiasts with an extensivecollection. 

For people with a single handgun in their possession, we suggestlooking at the Dinosaurized Pistol Case. It's a simple, but enough pistol caseto safeguard the weapon.


2. Miscellaneous items 

What do you carry during air travel? What do you use at the range? Sure, this varies from person to person, however, you can consider a few items such as cleaning supplies, ballistic meter, range passes, gun holsters, markers, and eye or hearing protection when purchasing a handgun case. 


3. Portability 

Nowadays pistol cases come in all sizes and shapes. Handgun cases may be small fold up pouches you can put in your duffle or backpack. Or they may be as large as suitcases or messenger bags.

A heavier gun case won’t be easy to move around but for security reasons, a heavier pistol case is indeed a great choice. We recommend that you consider the weight of the case before purchasing if you are someone who does a lot of traveling with the weapon.


4. The type of case 

The best pistol cases are durable and rugged. They should protect your weapon from dust, dirt, grease, and anything that can clog it or cause rusting. Plus, when you're flying with your firearm, it will be in someone else's possession, and that's another important reason for not skimping on the type of case.

 We are certain that many of you will pick up a cheap pistol case for around $20, but keep in mind, it's not going to be nearly durable or protective enough to safeguard your weapon.

So, choose wisely between soft and hard gun cases.


5. Item value and gun case pricing 

Prices of gun-carrying cases differ based on the manufacturer/brand, size, the type of gun safe, security features, amongst many other factors. So, consider your budget when making a selection.

If you are a shooting professional with advanced riles and expensive accessories, you have every reason to purchase an equally advanced and highly secure rifle case that should cost some serious dollars. If you want a gun safe for your household needs, there are good bedside gun safes that cost less than a hundred dollars.


A word of warning: don't fall for the cheaper low-quality gun safes. Also worth mentioning is that there are low-priced gun safes that are equally great as the expensive safes. 


6. Frequency of opening the gun case 

The frequency of opening the gun case - daily or rarely - will definitely influence the buying decision and you can make the selection based on the locking mechanism.


7. Ammo 

Many gun owners overlook how much space a provision for ammo takes up. And if there are multiple pistols, then the amount of ammo one should be carrying will obviously increase.

If you do not want an entire bag to carry just the ammo to the range, factor in the amount of ammo you typically carry and how many calibers.

How you plan to carry ammo determines what case you need to buy.


8. Warranty

Just like with any other purchase you may make you need to look at the gun safe’s warranty carefully. Make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully. Some brands allow you to extend the warranty period.


Characteristics of an ideal hard pistol case. 

Here's what you should look for in a gun carrying case. 


1. Locks 

This is fundamental: be it for range, air travel or simply storing at your home, the best gun case should have a secure lock, with a key, code, or a loop for attaching your padlock. 


2. Pressure-relief valve 

Most hard cases on the market are sealed and watertight. To prevent the seal from breaking when submerged or at a high-altitude during flight, many firearm cases have an automatic pressure-relief valve that opens whenever there's a pressure difference.  


3. Foam padding or inserts 

Most gun cases out there feature inside them an egg foam or a foam that you can cut. Mind that the cut-out foam (also called a pick and pluck foam) is mostly customized to fit certain guns and doesn't provide room for more guns in a single case. Also, it will lose shape over time and will need replacement. On the other hand, egg foam will last a little longer than the cut-out foam.

Best pistol cases will feature pre-cut foam inserts. The foam not only wraps around your rifle, SBR, or pistol and protects them from bumps and impacts, but also ensures the 'extras' you carry do not scratch the weapon.


4. Tight seal

The temperature and humidity inside airplanes and baggage change quite fast. An ideal pistol case for air travel needs to seal tightly to prevent damage caused by sudden changes in external forces.

There are gun cases that block even microparticles from getting into the weapons and ammunition, where they can cause rust.


5. Water resistance

If you know you'll be working in the rain, a waterproof pistol case is likely a necessity. That said, there's good and bad to this feature. The good side is that your gun will get all protection from water or rain; the bad side is that you'll need to be extra careful in removing all moisture out of the gun before you put it inside the case. Any moisture left inside the gun won't evaporate while inside the case.


Best Pistol Carrying Case: Soft vs. Hard

When it comes to long-term storage and long-distance transport, you’d be hard-pressed to beat the solid reliability of a hard rifle case. Its rigid crush-proof construction, watertight protection, reinforced locking points, and thick foam inserts offer the most peace of mind. But all those features can come at the cost of a heavier weight and bulkier size; not to mention, the hefty price tag.

On the other side of the spectrum are soft gun cases, also known as gun bags. Where hard cases struggle, soft cases excel. They are convenient, lightweight, and super easy to throw over your shoulder. You can even cram them into smaller spaces. But like the hard pistol cases, they have their trade-offs; namely, they offer less protection and resistance to impact or external forces, don't keep guns in place, and lack locking systems for air travel.

So, which type should you choose? Get both. If you can only have one then go for anyone from our top 5 pistol cases below. And if you can afford a few hundred more dollars, buy yourself a good soft case and hard case.


Why you need a hard case

Most of the shooting competitions or your hunting spots will be within driving distance. There will come a time when your hunting partners lure you to a distant place 1000s of miles away. And when you're traveling, the last thing you'd want is to be hit with delays because you didn't store your firearm properly. That said, let's not forget about state and international firearms laws for transporting the weapon in lockable cases. Then there's a massive fine for an unloaded gun. That's an expensive hunting/competition trip!

Besides delays and fine, you should also consider the amount of 'mistreatment' your checked-in luggage is going to go through. Expect lack of duty care, bumps, throws, extreme weather changes, or even unauthorized access to your weapons.

Likewise, you would also want to hide your pistol from children and wrongdoers.

That's why you'd choose a good hard rifle case.


What to expect in the best gun case locks?

You always want to keep your gun the best way possible and that's why you should also consider investing in a good gun case lock. Functionally speaking, there are three distinct types of locks for a gun case - mechanical, digital, and bio-metric.

Biometric locks - use behavioral and/or physical characteristics to identify the owner. Iris detection, facial recognition, and fingerprints, for example. They are perfect at stopping unauthorized access but they are quite expensive.

Mechanical locks - the most common type seen in pistol cases. They can be padlocks or simple mechanical buttons that use a PIN system to open and close the case.

Digital locks - They strike a perfect balance between mechanical and biometrical locks and have a digital PIN which can be programmed to open and close the gun case.

Then there are other types best suited for gun safes: dual locks with EMP (electronic mechanical protection) feature and key access locks.


Things to Consider When Buying the Best Pistol Carrying Case: 

Size of the gun case 

If you buy a small lock for a bigger pistol case, you will be leaving too much space between the locks and, this might be big enough to allow break-in even with the lock still intact. Similarly, if you buy a bigger lock, it might not fit; if it does, you might damage it while attempting to open or close your pistol case. 


Fire Protection 

Owning a fireproof lock that means, regardless of what happens to your safe, your bullets and guns will remain safe. 


Locking Mechanism 

When buying a gun case lock, it’s important to choose the ones with high-tech security. Locks that can easily be picked, broken, or destroyed will not keep your firearm safe. The best gun case lock is the one that only you can access through combination, card keys, or keys.


Budget 

Irrespective of how high-end or secure a gun case lock might be if you cannot afford it, it remains wishful thinking. So, before you go shopping for the best gun case lock, check online for different brands and their prices. 


Additional Features 

Certain locks allow TSA access to give an edge over regular gun case locks. Some gun case locks have indicators, easy combinations for quick remembrance, or card locks.


Warranty 

It’s important you consider a warranty when shopping for the best gun case locks. Some lock companies offer a refund if your gun case lock is ever picked. There are even companies that give a lifetime warranty on gun case combination lock – how cool! 


Now it’s time to get the best pistol case for you!

So, there you have it, our top 5 best handgun cases.

If you don't like to advertise that you have a gun, go for a discreet, minimalist option. If you're traveling, you're going to need the protection only a hard case can offer. A soft case is ideal for quick trips to and from the field and a hard case is meant to protect your gun from the bumps and impacts of distant travel.

In case of bedside gun cases, or safes, go for the ones that balance security, reliability, and quick access.

Shoot down to the comments and let us know what pistol case you decided to go with, the outright winner or the alternative 2; we won’t judge!

And, if you already have the best pistol case in your possession and are considering holsters for your weapon, check out our top 5 holster recommendations



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