Soft vs. Hard Rifle Cases – What’s Better For You?

    When thinking about hard and soft rifle cases, it’s easy to just pick one without really looking at what works best. For years I picked one style of case and used it regardless of whether or not it was the best choice for me. Over the last few months, I’ve been asked several times how I pick what case to use and why. I figured this would be a perfect time to sit down and explain the uses of both styles so let’s jump into it.

    Hard Cases

    Hard cases like the large Pelican 1750 or Condition 1 cases are a great option for protecting your firearms. Its fairly typical for people who sink a great deal of money into a build, to pick up a hard rifle case. Hard cases offer superior protection to other rifle cases on the market. I use a Pelican 1750 whenever I fly or go on long hunting trips across various states. Hard cases offer added security with lockable points along with the ability to customize the internal foam whether you do it yourself or pay a company like GunFormz to make you a custom foam layout for whatever rifle you decide to put into it. I love the fact hard rifle cases give you endless options to include space for spare magazines and extra ammo.

    Most of the hard cases on the market today also come with a fantastic warranty which covers the case in the event it’s damaged.  Hard cases can be a great option for protecting your guns but there are a few drawbacks to these juggernauts. The main issue with hard style cases is how bulky they can be when transporting. The added protection hard cases give users also adds a good amount of bulk and weight to carry around. I can’t tell you how many times I have hit a wall dinged a car door trying to haul a case around. Over time it gets easier to handle the case but they can be cumbersome especially fully loaded up. Another issue many people bring up is the cost of a quality hard case. Typically they are a couple hundred dollars which can turn some people off.

    Soft Cases

    Soft side cases are typically more common in the market and there are several high-quality manufacturers. Some of the popular soft bags would be the Drago Bags and Savior Equipment with both having the ability to carry multiple rifles and accessories for range trips. Soft cases are really lightweight compared to the heavier hard cases and are much easier to maneuver. Your interior walls will thank you when they get bumped by soft cases rather than punching holes in your drywall like a teenager named Kyle after his third monster.

    Bags like the Savior Equipment Urban Warfare are some of my personal favorites because they have laser cut molle webbing without scream I’m TACTICAL. It’s a nice way to remain discreet when loading and unloading your truck before range day. The molle attachments offer a ton of different options depending on what you need. Having something lightweight you can just throw over your shoulder and go on with your day without having to worry about walls or bumping things with a large case.

    Overall Thoughts

    Whether deciding on a hard or soft rifle case, they both will have their advantages depending on what your plans are for them. Hard cases are fantastic for protecting your rifles either flying or long distance road trips. They are easily customizable and can be personalized for whatever you may need. The downside to them is the overall size and bulk that comes with hard cases.  Soft cases are great for hitting the range without adding a ton weight and bulk to your range trips.

    I personally would use a soft side case for daily short trips to the range. Longer hard cases would be better for longer hunting trips where I may need extra protection. Let me know what your personal preference is for cases in the comments below. If you have any questions about cases or in general don’t be afraid to message me on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there!

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    I’m an avid shooter and love educating whether it’s at my job or in the shooting community. I’m an average joe that really loves talking with other people about firearms and other passions.
    I’m active on Instagram on @fridgeoperator.