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3 Things to Consider Before You Buy a Soft-sided Gun Case

Make sure the soft case you’re considering is long enough to accommodate the rifle you plan to keep in it.
Make sure the soft case you’re considering is long enough to accommodate the rifle you plan to keep in it. (Allen Company/)

While there’s no doubt that a hard-sided gun case is the best choice for extended travel involving rough handling, a soft case has advantages, too. In addition to being lighter, a soft-sided case is usually sufficient for transport to and from camp, to the range, or day hunting locally. They’re less expensive than hard cases, easier to handle, and often feature external pouches for tools and accessories. No matter your choice of firearms, there’s a minimalist case to fit it.

Tactical

If you want to carry tools, ammo, or other items you might need while hunting or shooting at the range, get a case with multiple pockets and storage options.
If you want to carry tools, ammo, or other items you might need while hunting or shooting at the range, get a case with multiple pockets and storage options. (Savior Equipment/)

Modularity is the hallmark of any tactical soft good.The ability to add pouches, sleeves, or tool sheaths to any case with MOLLE webbing is literally what makes it tactical. Shoulder or ALICE straps add versatility to a tactical case, enhancing mobility and load distribution.

Shotguns

If you can disassemble your firearm, you can transport it in a small case cushioned with soft foam.
If you can disassemble your firearm, you can transport it in a small case cushioned with soft foam. (SKB Cases/)

Most double guns are easy to break down into separate components, requiring smaller cases that are easier to transport. A break-down case also has an advantage over sleeve-type cases in that they can be filled with rigid padding or pluck foam to offer about the same protection as a hard case.

Long Rifles

Soft-sided sleeves are light, inexpensive, and ideal for those treks when a rifle spends more time in your hands than in a case.
Soft-sided sleeves are light, inexpensive, and ideal for those treks when a rifle spends more time in your hands than in a case. (Allen Company/)

For everyday hauling, it's hard to beat a soft-sided rifle sleeve. They're the lightest option available. Just make sure the case has enough room to accommodate your rifle's length as well as the height of the scope. One case will usually fit a variety of long guns, from rifles to pump and semi-auto shotguns.

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