Gun Cases: What To Use and When

Jan 9th 2020

There is quite an impressive array of options of gun cases for you to choose from to safely transport and store your firearms. You’ll need gun cases for your firearms whether you are transporting or storing them and the conditions will dictate what you need in each scenario. Depending on the nature of the travel and the locations to and from which you are going, you’ll want different gun cases for different purposes. Also, if your intent is storage, you’ll want to look for different cases for those pursuits as well. The two basic categories of gun cases are hard and soft gun cases, and each offers benefits over the other depending on the circumstances. Here’s a quick breakdown.

Hard Gun Cases
The first category of gun cases of which you will have your pick is hard gun cases. Overall, hard gun cases afford superior protection to the firearms they house than soft gun cases, but this does not make them the prime choice across the board. You just need to consider your circumstances and the type of firearm you are transporting before you make a decision. Here are some specific protections that a hard gun case can afford your firearms.

A hard gun case will afford your firearms varying degrees of crush protection. This ranges from relatively flexible plastic that is crush-resistant to aluminum cases that are much more crush resistant. We’re cautious to say crush-proof because if you subject a hard aluminum or other metal gun case to a hydraulic piston torture test it’s going to give. Unless you’re in the habit of subjecting your equipment to such abuses, we’ll be bold enough then to call them crush-proof. The varying degrees of crush resistance that hard gun cases afford their users is the fact that you can safely store firearms in them for transport without having to worry too much about the gun being damaged due to external forces. If you have scoped rifles or semi-automatic platforms with many fragile or moving accessories like bipods, the durability of a hard case might make it an absolute necessity for any transport, whether it be down the road to the range or across the country for competition.

Another feature of hard cases is the excellent degree of padding they offer within the case. Even budget models offer really good internal padding to protect the fragile accessories with which many guns are paired. There are even some models of hard cases that have pick-apart foam inserts that enable the user to completely tailor the fit of the case to each gun it contains. Their generally superior padding is also a boon to those transporting guns with sensitive exposed moving parts like antique shotgun and muzzleloaders with exposed hammers. The fact that some guns have very fragile components and accessories might make a hard case your choice for transport no matter when or where you’re going.

Another thing that you might consider a bonus is the fact that some models of hard cases lock and have reinforced joints. These features, where they are present, add to the structural integrity of a hard case and sometimes give it another benefit that soft cases typically don’t afford. Some hard cases are waterproof. Water is one of the main corrosive agents that firearms will be subject to in the field and during transport. Rain, spray and wash from lakes and bays, and floodwater can all imperil cased guns during transport. Water can and will cause flash rust on steel and wood will absorb it which can cause warping and other long term issues. Exposure to water can also seriously damage the internal components of many guns which can wreak havoc both long and short term. In essence, any time that you feel your cased gun might be exposed to water from any source, it would be well worth your while to invest in a waterproof hard case. In the long run, it will save you a headache.

As a result of their durability, exceedingly adequate cushioning and protection against water and other environmental contaminants, hard gun cases are sometimes your best option for transportation or short term storage of your firearms. If your gun contains sensitive moving parts or accessories, is scoped and liable to lose its zero from rough handling, or is liable to be exposed to water, the right hard case is critical to protection. Additionally, a quality hard case is recommended for long-distance travel or any time you will be flying with your firearm, such as to a hunting location. It will protect your firearm from inconsiderate handling and other dangers of transport.

Here at White Knight Supply, we offer hard gun cases for all different types of firearms so you can give your guns the protection they deserve whether they’re traveling west for a big game hunt or just out for a trip to the range. Whether you just need a little bit of extra protection or the utmost in crush protection and cushioning, we have something for you.

If you just need the basic additional support and protection that a hard case will give you over a soft case, take a look at some of the cases we offer from Plano’s Gun Guard line. Models like the Promax and Aggressor single rifle or shotgun cases will give your firearms a bit more protection against knocks and pressure than most soft cases. They’re fairly lightweight and easy to carry and all around are good choices when you need some more protection against environmental hazards. There are many serviceable hard gun cases offered by Plano that offer you a good balance across weight, space, portability, and protection.

Plano also offers hard cases that offer a much higher level of protection than their basic models. Their Gun Guard All Weather Tactical Cases in either 36 or 42 inches were designed with sporting rifles and carbines in mind. The many exposed moving parts and fragile optics and accessories with which many sporting platforms are paired make them particularly susceptible to knocks and bumps. Plano’s Gun Guard All Weather cases offer the protection of extremely dense plastic and reinforced clasps to keep your expensive semi-autos safe. Additionally, you can tailor the foam inserts to the exact dimensions and profiles of your firearms for a fit like a glove.

If you need the absolute best protection you can find, take a look at the Pelican IM3300 Case. This is one of our toughest cases available, shatterproof and nearly crush-proof. It is extremely durable and also airtight and watertight. The latches are easy to open yet hold tight, and the case has integrated feet for stability whether it is stood upright or laid flat. It will protect whatever firearm it contains against bumps, shocks, pressures, water and rapid shifts in air temperature and humidity. There are few cases out there that are tougher if any. Whenever you’re going to be transporting your prized or expensive firearms, this is an excellent case to trust for safe transport.

Soft Gun Cases
For the times when you don’t need that extra protection afforded to you by hard cases, soft gun cases are ideal. As protective as the best hard cases are, there are several scenarios in which soft gun cases are more than adequate, and even ideal, for transporting your firearms.

The first of many circumstantial advantages that soft gun cases have over their counterparts is the fact that they take up less room almost without exception. Most soft gun cases are slimmer and easier to pack into a trunk or bed than other cases, even if they offer less protection. That being the case, there are often times when you won’t be transporting your firearms too far or under stressful conditions that necessitate the need for additional protection. Some days, you’ll be taking your rifle or shotgun out in the woods to get rained or snowed on anyway, and you’ll need to take it apart later for maintenance as it is. In that event, the convenience of carrying around a slimmer gun case outweigh the protective benefits of hard cases.

Speaking of their slimmer profile, soft-sided cases are also lighter and usually much easier to carry than hard gun cases. People really carry a hard gun case to or from a stand, often relying on soft gun cases or gun socks for easier, quieter transport. Many soft cases have handles or straps that make them much easier to carry than alternatives. In addition to the fact that they are quieter, lighter and often easier to carry, many of them can be waterproofed or waxed to shed rain. That in no way allows them to supersede the protection of a hard case, but it does enable a crafty hunter or shooter to mix some of the benefits of a hard case with the convenience of a soft case.

They also tend to be much cheaper than most hard cases. The fact that they are cheaper and more convenient makes them tops for trips where the redundant protection isn’t necessary. Especially if the gun you’re going to transport is a beat-up old double with few fragile external parts or an old single shot break rifle with iron sights, you won’t have too much to worry about packing it into a soft case and slogging to or from your stand with it. In most cases, the naked gun would turn obstacles even better than the case, and rugged examples such as these only need the additional protection of hard cases when they will be roughly handled or exposed to environmental stressors like water and dust. (Which conditions, by the way, are present in the woods anyway.)

Basically, what it boils down to is the fact that hard cases give you the most protection you can get. What soft cases give you is the convenience of a lighter, slimmer profile that is also quiet in the woods, as well as a price break from the more expensive hard cases. In addition, the protection that a soft case affords some guns is more than adequate in many cases. You just need to know the circumstances and the nature of the transport. The truth is, most gun owners have several hard and soft gun cases and use them as the occasion calls.

Just like our offering of hard gun cases, here at White Knight Supply, you will find soft gun cases for those times when that’s all you need. Check out our CVA Soft Gun Case with pocket and internal padding to keep your guns secure and protected when in the trunk or when moving to or from the stand or the boat. Designed to fit shotguns, the 52 inch Allen Select Soft Case is ideal for transporting your break or pump wingshooter to or from the field. For extra protection for your duck gun, consider our 52 inch Allen Cattail Floating Gun Case. You can bring your shotgun out on the water with confidence with a floating case like this. It’s just an additional layer of protection against drops and dips that sometimes occur around water. It doesn’t hurt that it’s lockable, either.

These, however, are only a few of the options we offer in soft gun cases. Take a look through our site to find the soft gun cases that are right for you. You might find that while sometimes you prefer the convenience of a gun sock, you might want an added layer of protection with a canvas case or a floating case, and that’s quite alright.

Everything You Need Right Here
Whether you decide that you are going to settle on a hard gun case or a soft case, or more likely that you will need several of both for different situations, you’ll find everything you need right here at White Knight Supply. Not only is our selection second to none, but our prices are just right and as always, all orders ship free. While you’re at it, don’t forget to pick up the other essentials you’ll need for the range or the field. We have just about everything you need to make a successful hunt or day at the range.