Gear Review: GORUCK Firearms Gear

Okay, so yes. This is the Gucci of Firearms Gear. I don’t know of any firearms gear more highly priced that is currently on the market. But is it worth it? The tl;dr is: Yes, with some caveats.


I am a pack connoisseur. I have a garage full of packs like my wife has a closet full of shoes–I have different ones for different occasions. And I have tried a ton. I have also wrecked a ton.

All of the range bags I have used are nothing more than cloth buckets, some with dividers and pouches, but all basically just a big area with little (or no) thought to organization. The rifle bags I have used are generally a zippered sleeve (5.11 Double Rifle Case the exception). The zippers are generally subpar. The stitching is weak. Just a general lack of quality. So when GORUCK announced that they were doing a line of Firearms Gear, I was definitely intrigued. I am a fan GORUCK (though not to the level of some of the “followers”). I’ll admit it. I love their packs. I own their two main packs the GR1 and GR2. I have a Bullet Ruck and also a Sandbag. All of their gear is solid, in my opinion. And they have an awesome warranty which has been heavily tested and vetted–over a thousand Challenges that have run their gear with very few returns/replacements.  And that is the reason that I backed the Pre-Sale–I had enough faith in the company and the products to invest in an early release of gear.

The biggest downside to GORUCK products (pretty much all of them) is the price. They are definitely a premium product. But they are 100% made in the US (which of course will always be more expensive than something produced in Southeast Asia). And when you send a message (or have a question) they get back to you pretty immediately; sometimes it is even the owner (Jason McCarthy) making the contact. They also employ a huge number of veterans and do their best to “do right by people”. So, yeah, I’m willing to pay extra to support that type of company–especially when their products back up the hype. I’m also at the point where I am willing to pay more money to have a quality piece of gear, rather than take a chance on having to replace it every couple of years.

The Gear

So, the GORUCK Fireams Gear. It was announced as a “pre-sale” to gauge interest–kind of like a Kickstarter, but run by GORUCK themselves. The hardcore fanboys, of course, jumped on it. I decided to throw in because I really wanted some quality gear to transport my firearms in. As I mentioned in a previous post, I destroy gear, and I’ve now been through my fourth range bag. The pre-sale had a breath-taking price; it was d*** expensive. The initial bags were all preconfigured with pouches (small/medium caliber or large caliber), or you could purchase the “Everything Bundle” and get absolutely everything (which is what I did, and I also ordered an additional Pistol Case). There were some promotional videos that demonstrated the gear. So overall I bought into the idea based on about three paragraphs of text, a couple of videos, and my history with their other products. The bags were loosely promised to ship around Thanksgiving of 2014, and GORUCK came through within a week of that, seeing a larger number of pre-sales than they had anticipated.

I got mine in and started loading all of the bags up. And immediately started getting annoyed. I even had a couple of my peeps play with the gear too, just to make sure I wasn’t completely daft. The initial conclusion was “Meh. It’s okay gear, but not for that price.”

So, I decided to reach out to GORUCK. This was my first experience with any of their products where I was less than satisfied with the purchase. I have a point of contact (at GORUCK Headquarters) that I hoped could put me in touch with the right people. He said he was forwarding my info to Tyler (the designer of the gear) and let me know that Tyler was pretty busy. Okay, no worries. After I week, I heard nothing back, so I followed up. Still nothing. So I posted on a Facebook GORUCK group I knew he was a member of and finally got a quick ping from him. He was traveling and would get with me the next day. And that was all I heard. I felt like I was, for the first time, getting the run around with a company that I had been an ardent support of for years. And I made that frustration known. And I finally got a response from Tyler which was commensurate with my level of annoyance. He called me directly and gave me an earful… 🙂

That has been, singly, the BEST conversation I have ever had with a representative of any company. The tone immediately told me couple of important facts. Tyler was not going to give me customer service fluff, and that I had touched off a nerve, which meant (to me) he was truly passionate about this gear. After a few minutes we had de-escalated, and he started breaking down the concept (and vision) for the Firearms Gear line. See, Tyler is a former SF guy, and he currently does a number of things including consulting for movies, acting small parts (Snitch and a CoD commercial as well being featured in a documentary: That Which I Love Destroys Me), training others in firearms skills, and contributing to the firearms industry in a number of other ways. His world revolves around consulting the topic of firearms. And like many others that spend more time with firearms than not, he identified a gap in his system.

We spend a ton of money on guns, optics and accessories, but we skimp on things in which to transport them. We expect high quality workmanship from the hardware itself, but then we store it in poorly thought out storage containers. We store it based on the design someone else thought of without any real ability to customize it for our personal setup (and if you scoff at the idea of custom setups, I implore you to visit a 3-Gun competition).

Working at GORUCK, Tyler had access to not only quality workmanship and materials but a wealth of manufacturing expertise, and as the Director for the GORUCK Firearms Training programs, he pitched the idea to Jason. This project became Tyler’s baby and he poured a huge amount of time and effort into the components.

The initial vision included at least five containers (rather than the three initially offered). The ones that made the initial cut were the “Discreet Rifle Case”, the “Pistol Case”, and the “Pistol Rug” The additional ones included a traditional bucket style range bag and a full length rifle case. Tyler also efforted out a huge number of specific pouches, anchors and accessory attachments as part of the umbrella that would encompass the “Firearms Gear”. Some of the items are sized to hold tools. Some are sized to hold certain sizes of boxed ammo. Some are pouches that can hold eye/ear pro. How about a holster insert? Magazine pouches? Somewhere north of 60 different individual components. The point is that no one person’s configuration is optimal for everyone. So why build something that forces a specific setup when you can design a system that can be adapted to a personal preference or use case?


So why did GORUCK do a pre-sale for the Firearms Gear? Well, GORUCK, being a “new” manufacturer (and not having a history with scaled production) got burnt in their early days. They overproduced certain styles of products they thought everyone would jump on, and ended up with a huge warehouse of stuff they couldn’t easily move. As Tyler had mentioned to me, the Firearms Gear has over 60 individual SKUs, multiplied by the color offerings. So based on lessons learned from previous experience it was decided that Tyler would need to come up with a set of “packages” that would match the greatest number of configurations possible to simply reduce the risk with an untested product line. And this is where it began to depart from his stated vision, in my opinion. Logistically, it would be a nightmare to try and guess what pouches, anchors, and attachments to construct in what quantities for an initial rollout. Not to mention that each item has a certain degree of complexity in it’s construction (meaning it would take an inordinate amount of the sewing resources for GORUCK to create enough of everything to cover all of the potential configurations–it has to be limited by some sort of feedback). So the instruction was to come up with something that should work for most people. And therein lies the initial problem. The offering was now not much different than what other manufacturers were offering–a pre-set idea (albeit more configurable), except at a higher price tag.

And that is where it broke down for me. It seemed a lot more configurable in the promotion videos. And some of the things demonstrated just did not “survive contact with the enemy”. The proverbial straw that broke it for me was not being able to seat the Pistol Rug in the Discreet Rifle Bag (as was demonstrated in the video and was actually one of the major tipping points that convinced me to invest in the gear). It just didn’t work. And that is ultimately what initiated my call to GORUCK. Sure, I could have gutted some of the other bags to get enough pouches and anchors to setup things as I wanted, but that was not the point. With my initial investment, I was locked into a limited set of configurations without the ability to remedy that by buying additional components. And the initial offering didn’t have exactly what I needed for a system for me.

Pistol Rug

The Pistol Rug is a simple case. Personally I’ve never used a rug prior the GORUCK version. It is definitely a simple and quick way to transport a pistol. While it folds open completely flat, it is deep so it can’t be easily used as a rest.

The padded compartment will easily accommodate small and medium pistols, as well as some large frame guns.

Just like all of the gear, it is completely lined inside with loop fastener so you can set it up how you want it.


Rug front


Rug back


Rug opened flat–no inserts


Rug showing gun sleeve.

Rug loaded for the range.

Rug loaded for the range.


Pistol Bag

Pistol bag is solidly made. It is actually reminiscent of MilSpec Monkey’s Mega Patch Book though it is nearly double the width.

It comes as a divided clam shell case. It opens flat and has a middle (removable) panel that has loop fastener on both sides.  There is a shallow side and a deep side.

The loop fastener on the inside is that quiet “non-crinkly” kind (not sure what the actual product name is–readers can you help me out? Google has failed me…). It holds amazingly strong. I was initially afraid I was going to pull the case apart removing the pouches and anchors (though after a few dozen tear down and rebuilds it is still holding solid).

This is easily my favorite of all of the Firearms Gear. It has become my “go-to” bag for housing all of my tools and gear I need for the range. The only thing it doesn’t hold well is a package of targets…

Pistol case back

Pistol case back

Pistol Case front

Pistol Case front

Pistol Case (deep side)

Pistol Case (deep side)

Pistol Case (shallow side)

Pistol Case (shallow side)

Pistol Case (divider removed)

Pistol Case (divider removed)


Vise blocks for AR and Glock, Trigger pull gauge, Punch block, speed loader, RamRodz, light, punches, knife


FAT Wrench, ratcheting multibit driver, adjustable wrench, various bits, AR Tool, lube, patches, bore snakes, timer.

Pistol Case with Glock 17

Pistol Case with Glock 17, ITS EDC Trauma Kit, RamRodz, light, knife


Ratcheting multibit driver, various bits, FAT Wrench, adjustable wrench, eye and ear pro (inside the pouches–lube and speedloader)

Setup for two guns

Set up for two guns

Discreet Rifle Case

The Rifle Case is what annoyed me about the GORUCK Firearms Gear. Generally GORUCK first runs of gear have gone through dozens of iterations and been drug through all kinds of hell and abused in all manner of awkward ways. By the time the product hits production the bugs have been worked out. The problem is that this is a different (more specialized) type of product and it is not meant to endure the same type of abuse (though I am willing to bet that it would hold up fine during a challenge). As a result there were only a few people testing and evaluating the gear.

First off, does it match the advertising? My initial impression was no, not exactly. The biggest thing that I thought departed from the marketing was that it could not accommodate a 20″ barrel (it barely fit my 16″ with a muzzle device). After talking with Tyler, he said “Did you try in diagonally?”. Well, uh, um, uh, no? So yes it can accommodate a 20″ barrel.

A friend's rifle--yes he knows he needs to move the scope forward... :)

A friend’s rifle with a 20″ barrel–it does fit with some angling. And yes he knows he needs to move the scope forward… 🙂

What threw me off, and really what blinded me based on how it was shipped, was trying to use all of the components and trying to match the configuration as demonstrated in the video. Just because it shipped with all of the bits doesn’t mean that they are necessary for all configurations, and I, stupidly, was trying to make it work with everything that it came with. For example, it ships with two padded dividers; one full length along the long axis of the bag and one short one half the width of the short axis of the bag. Tyler even intimated to me that they had already figured out that the dividers were too tall (unfortunately after the initial production run).

To use these based on their sizing you get a half and two quarter sized areas

To use these based on their sizing you get a half and two quarter sized areas

This illustrates what I was saying about the original marketing materials not fully explaining (or emphasizing) the versatility, which I think is the true strength of these products.

One of the other issues they promoted was being able to put the Pistol Rug inside the Discreet Rifle Case (and this was my biggest pain point) and it looked easy in the video.  My first attempts were stymied. You can make it work if the Pistol Rug is not full and you are not fully loaded with eight rifle magazines. But the rifle case is fully lined with loop fastener. So instead of putting the Pistol Rug in it, you can just anchor a pistol in place with the holster and some mag pouches.


Trying to make it work like in the promo video.

Trying to make it work like in the promo video.

No way it can close with a loaded Pistol Rug and full magazine compliment.

No way it can close with a loaded Pistol Rug and full magazine compliment.

Ultimately I think my biggest complaint with the Rifle Case is that I wish that it had come with a few more anchor straps. The straps it came with were 3 different sizes, and I felt that the small ones are too short (again, just is my opinion). It would have been nice if they were consistent sizes, or, again, if you had the ability to purchase them individually. I think as a “pre-set” configuration, it would have been better with 2-3 of their elastic straps, 3-4 pouches, and equal length anchor straps (that are about 2 inches longer on each tail). Kind of making it more like the Pistol Case.

What it initially came with.

What it initially came with.

After talking with Tyler, he explained that he had actually tried the case in it’s configuration with like twenty different rifles, and even then it only worked well with about fifteen of them. But again, the goal was to come up with an initial package that would fit the majority of configurations. And based on some of the feedback on the Facebook group where some of the discussion took place, it does work for a number of people.


My 3-Gun setup.


Pistol, pistol mags, speed loader (in pouch), eye pro


Rifle upper with Leupold Mk AR Mod1, parts kit (crush washer, extra pins and springs, muzzle brake), speed loader, GripPod, extra charging handle and BCG, moto patches and ITS EDC Trauma Kit




Rifle lower, lube/cleaning kit, timer

Yes, it will fit a takedown bow and arrows... :)

Yes, it will fit a takedown bow and arrows… 🙂



For the price I would like to have seen the stitching more consistent throughout (using columns rather than single stitches on everything rather than just the shock points), but the gear shouldn’t be under load, and the areas that will get some wear are solidly sewn (and really that is very “nit-picky” on my part).

I would like to have seen a few more of the anchoring straps included in the Rifle Case.

I would like to see the pouches, anchors and attachments offered individually, but failing GORUCK offering them, there are a few vendors out there that do have hook and loop components. My favorite holster is the ITS Holster Insert offered by ITS Tactical as well as their Shock Cord Insert both of which are constructed by Zulu Nylon Gear. Blackhawk also makes a number of accessories (though they are not US made).

Pistol Case with ITS

Pistol Case with ITS Holster Insert and Shock Cord Insert (pictured with an Israeli bandage and saline lock)

In my opinion, the gear is not a failure–the initially marketed expectations were. A little more time publicly explaining the vision and showing a number of different configurations lets the gear sell itself. And that is the overall intention of this post. I like GORUCK’s gear. I really like the vision for the Firearms Gear and want it to succeed. While the initial price was high, it has since dropped considerably.

Now four months into using the gear, I can’t imagine going back to something else. I have all of my tools neatly organized (and know where they are at–I can get to them without looking or direct someone right at something). My range trips are much simpler–I can just grab my rifle case and ammo box and I can be confident that will have everything I need (though it obviously takes discipline to reset the gear after a trip).  If I’m going to T&E something I can grab my case loaded with tools. At 3-Gun, I can have everything I need (except for the shotgun) fully contained in the Discreet Rifle Case.

The original prices for the gear: Pistol Rug was $185, Pistol Case was $325, Rifle Case was $365.  Current pricing: Pistol Rug at $145, Pistol Case at $245 and Rifle Case at $255.

I think there is long term promise for this product line for people that want a highly configurable system for managing their firearms.  I know a number of people are not going to be able to get past the price point, but if you can (and want a very durable and configurable set of gear), you should consider GORUCK Firearms Gear.

Tom is a former Navy Corpsman that spent some time bumbling around the deserts of Iraq with a Marine Recon unit, kicking in tent flaps and harassing sheep. Prior to that he was a paramedic somewhere in DFW, also doing some Executive Protection work between shifts. Now that those exciting days are behind him, he has embraced his inner “Warrior Hippie” and assaults 14er in his sandals and beard, or engages in rucking adventure challenges while consuming craft beer. To fund these adventures, he writes medical software and builds websites and mobile apps. His latest venture is as one of the founders of; a search engine for all things gun related. He hopes that his posts will help you find solid gear that will survive whatever you can throw at it–he is known (in certain circles) for his curse…ahem, ability…to find the breaking point of anything.


  • atm

    Pistol Case – $245
    Pistol Rug – $145
    Rifle Case – $255

    • Doc Rader

      Thanks for posting this. I added the original prices and current prices to the main article.

  • DrewN

    This looks pretty nice if you didn’t have a need to be low profile. Unfortunately for me, I need my range bags to be alot stealthier, which is why I’m still using carry-on’s that I get cheap from goodwill and cut foam for. No one ever looks twice at a black roller suitcase.

    • ruinator

      Love that idea. Hitting goodwill today!

      • DrewN

        Just a heads up, you’ll want to make sure to hit whatever you buy with a decent pesticide in case of @#$%^%$#@ bedbugs. All our local thrift shops are freaking crawling.

        • ruinator

          YIKES! Will do

    • Don Baum

      I’ve seen a soft guitar case be used to transport an AR15.

      • Diver6106

        Like the violin case of Chicago for a ‘Chopper.’

  • Pat

    Rifle case is VERY similar (read almost a clone) to LaRue’s Covert Rifle Case MKII. Seems to be around the same size but with more velcro, which is nice.

    Unfortunately the LaRue is already one of the highest priced soft rifle cases at $170.00. $245 is an absolute deal killer for something that doesn’t seem to provide any significant upgrade to my LaRue.

    • Doc Rader

      Yeah that is pretty close. Dimensions are comparable. Looks like the main difference is the loop fastener on the lid. I’d be interested to see the fine details in difference in the construction.

      • Trill

        I emailed them during the presale to ask what justified the price in comparison to the LaRue because the similarities are so striking. Their response was their Scars guarantee and the overall craftsmanship was their justification for such a price tag.

        I don’t know much about LaRue’s MKII, but now that I have a GR1, I’m pretty damn impressed with GORUCK gear.

        All this being said, I really want someone that is well versed in backpacks to make something that isn’t 60 liters, like the new Arc’teryx Khard. Also, I can’t find Khard 30 and 45 dimensions to figure out if a 16″ AR upper will fit in there. I currently have a 2VA/LBT Covert, which would be satisfying, even though it looks a little odd, but the harness system is so incredibly terrible. When you put that thing on, it feels like it’s designed to decapitate.

        But, apparently I’m in the minority for wanting a purpose built AR backpack.

        Thanks for the review!

  • Vitsaus

    Its tough to retail high end soft cases. Most shooters just don’t see the justification for spending an extra 50-80 bucks (or more) between a mid range bag and an upper range bag. Great features are great, sure, but most folks are using stuff like this mainly to get guns to the range or to a course, most of the time some cheapo Plano plastic sided case will do. I didn’t quite notice whether this was US made or not, but soft goods being what they are, they are surely making 100% or better profit on it regardless.

    • Doc Rader

      Yes, US made.

  • CrankyFool

    Sorry, I just want to understand something:

    They advertised a product, which you pre-purchased. It didn’t work really well for you so you contacted them for help. Through three different occasions, they basically blew you off. After the fourth time you complained, they finally got back to you and Tyler, who apparently is super-passionate about his products, tore you a new one to the point where there was a need to de-escalate the conversation? And this, for an incredibly expensive product?

    GORUCK can GO*UCK themselves.

    Thanks for the review, Tom. I’ll put the on the permanent “never do business with these people because they don’t know how to deal with customers” list.

    • Doc Rader

      Mainly I think the initial advertising did not adequately explain the products.

      The convo needed de-escalating because I came out of the gates pretty hot and Tyler responded in kind–which I think was appropriate (and we both saw each other’s view). And not that he needs defending, but as the only one that could have answered my complaints, and as busy as he’s been, I was okay with the turn around time after it was all said and done.

    • MR

      So, you’re never going to do business with this company because the review wasn’t a total “fluff piece”. Hmm…

      Anyway, after the intro in the article, I didn’t think I’d be considering these items due to price. But the prices listed here aren’t that much worse than the standard Pelican hardcases I’d been looking at, at least when you take the added features into consideration.

      • Bill

        In my opinion, GORUCK is one of those companies where they’ve successfully made price part of the product. It’s a status symbol. My issue is that I wouldn’t pay that kind of coin to be essentially a a beta tester, particularly when I know I can throw a Pelican case from the boat to the dock and not have to worry a second about the 5K worth of optics in it. I’ll pay major dollars for a proven product that will protect equipment that needs major dollar protection. Maybe for a precision rifle, but a battle carbine and service pistol? How much more protection than lube, an old tube sock and a ziplock bag does a G19 need?

  • ruinator

    My buddy has that rifle bag. Got to play with it. Very impressed, quality product. The discussion ended with: “How much? HA! never mind”

    Thanks for the review Tom

    • Paul White

      Yep. For something that’s going from my bedroom to my car to the range and back? There’s no way to justify that price.

      • MR

        You might not be the target demographic. Honestly, I’m not either, but sometimes it feels good to resist the “Walmartization” of America.

        • Paul White

          yeah but to me that means finding quality products without worrying about being as absolutley cheap as possible; not spending tons of money for no practical gain.

      • anon

        I spent about $130 on a Sotech Sling Bag setup, and felt it was totally worth the money. Twice that for a bag that does almost the same thing…not so much.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    Their adventure races are great, looking forward to doing another this fall. I’d argue the comparison to Gucci though, they are the exact opposite of implied style over actual substance.

    Fwiw, if you are going to break your AR down in a small discreet case… The Raven Concealment upper caps are awesome and you’ll want some before you get oil and crap all over your case and things.

    • Doc Rader

      Thanks! I’ll check into that.

  • MPiet

    I was going to get a Goruck pack in order to participate in their Goruck 5k here in San Diego. Saw they wanted almost $300 for a smallish sized backpack….No thanks. My Condor and Maxexpidition crap works just fine for me.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      You don’t need their pack to run the races. The idea is that you run with their pack so they can show you why their packs are expensive.

      • MPiet

        Oh well, that is good to know then. I can weigh my pack down however I want right?

  • USMC03Vet

    Look at those patches ready to rock. Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast!

    Teach me how to operate, Bro.

    • Doc Rader

      Fo’ sho’. And now that the door has opened I’ll mail some schwag out to the first person that can correctly identify the origin of all of the six visible patches…

  • Menger40

    The flashlight snob in me immediately zeroed in on that $3 light in your $365 rifle case. 😛 Good review & pictures though, I like in-depth articles like this one.

    • Doc Rader

      I was totally wondering if anyone would notice that. And actually they are $4.07/each… 🙂

      I keep my real light on me–the ones in my gear seem to walk off more frequently than I would like and after “misplacing” my 2nd Surefire I decided to bait with cheapies.

      • Menger40

        Yikes, I don’t blame you one bit. Keep your surefires close!

  • olnacl

    Tom…when you were talking to Tyler did y’all discuss whether or not GoRuck will make a rifle case that does not require you to disassemble your rifle? I sure would like one that I could use to take my rifle to and from work (patrolman) and keep in the squad car. Thanks.

    • Doc Rader

      So, that was one of the initial concepts–there is apparently a prototype out there somewhere of a full sized rifle case. Whether or not it makes it to full production is probably based on how well sales do of the existing line.

      • Scott B

        Thanks. I have three of their rucks and the pistol case. Their products are worth the money.

  • john huscio

    Looks like nice stuff…..I’m kinda partial to casecruzer myself though….

  • Gunhead

    “I don’t know of any firearms gear more highly priced that is currently on the market” COUGH Arc’teryx LEAF COUGH.

    • Doc Rader

      Oh, their backpack line? Yeah, Arc’teryx is pricey, but at least the packs can used for pack things… The GORUCK firearms gear is pretty purpose locked.

  • Diver6106

    I didn’t see mention of the foam used. It needs a hard cell closed foam rubber that doesn’t deteriorate over time or humid wet/ dry cold conditions. Cheap ones use open celled foam and ABSORB water. And it should float when loaded, maybe for a short time, if dropped over by a Gomer in your group.The seams look covered by tape and sown to prevent coming apart. I like the US made, but the price is a general put off for a bag to the range, maybe better for an expedition bag.? I also like the rifle bags that fold out to a water proof ground cloth with holder for mags, but you can always throw in a poncho. I really like the hook and loop to customize the bag for your own purposes – rather than fixed pockets in cheaper bags. Then there was the Mac-10 bag that had kevlar sown in, you could loop the carrying handle over your head for a quickie vest. But thanks for the good review, I’ll look closer and check them out.

  • whskee

    RE Factor ASO bag is sorta similar and pretty damn good too at $200 for a rifle/pistol bag. I’ve found my ASO bag to be more discreet than most others out there and often passes as a nice gym bag even for people that would normally recognize gun bags.

  • kjzim

    Any word on the patch identification (please see my previous comment)?

  • Doc Rader

    Sorry, never got a notification about this. You are pretty close.

    #4 not correct.
    #6 partially correct–I did get it when I was down range. What unit’s patch is it?

  • Doc Rader

    Right. I responded on the other thread on here:

    #4 not correct.
    #6 partially correct–I did get it when I was down range. What unit’s patch is it?