The right to bear arms carries with it a lot of responsibilities, and any well-trained gun owner will quickly point out that protecting and securing your handguns and pistols is one of the biggest.
A high-quality pistol case is one of the best ways to ensure you meet this requirement. Whether you are going for a hardshell case or a portable fabric one, the case’s job will remain the same: it will keep your weapon and all its parts safe, prevent jamming or malfunctions, and help you recognize immediately if anything has gone missing. Furthermore, depending on your local legislation, it may be mandatory to use a secure case when transporting your handgun, even if you are simply going to the local shooting range.
Here are the best handgun and pistol cases to consider.
- Size: 17.54 x 14.24 x 7.50 inches
- Capacity: Up to 4 semi-automatic guns and 12 magazines
- Special features: Watertight, airtight, lined with cross-link polyethylene foam
Beautiful, secure, and reasonably priced, the Seahorse SE is a well-rounded pistol safe despite barely weighing 8.1 pounds. It was eminently designed to carry square style semi-automatic pistols. However, thanks to its spacious interior, you can actually fit a wide range of pistol and revolver models. These will be all properly secured thanks to its signature hard foam, which you can mold to your specific model with some effort, or even cut in a customized shape.
This offers superb shock protection, which is enhanced further by the watertight and airtight construction of the case itself. During long-term storage, this will also save you hundreds of hours of getting rid of the pervasive rust that often jams the delicate mechanisms in your gun. Further space is provided by an additional pocket, while the o-ring seal and top-notch latch will ensure you stay on the legal side during transport.
- Size: 9.25 x 7.12 x 4.12 inches
- Capacity: Three handguns plus accessories
- Special Features: Customizable interior, waterproof, pressure lock
A Pelican handgun case is, by now, synonymous with a lot of safety certifications and ruggedness; watertight closures and latches, automatic pressure equalization valves, and steel-reinforced copolymer exteriors mean that their products are capable of resisting an abnormal amount of shock and pressure. The brand itself is fond of testing its new materials and models by rolling a Land Rover on top of them. After all, if they are going to be transporting tactical gear to the remote corners of the world, then such a round of testing pays for itself.
In the 1200 model, Pelican makes such prowess available for up to three handguns at once. Each one can stay separate and safe thanks to the twin-ribbed top surface, polymer hard foam layers, and additional padded dividers held in place by their proprietary TrekPak technology.
- Size: 14 x 14 x 14 inches
- Capacity: 2 revolvers up to 11 inches long and ammo
- Special features: Conceal-carry friendly, o-ring seal
If smaller pistols are more your vibe, then you probably also need a discreet way to transport and store them. After all, there is no reason to advertise to the entire town that you are taking your gun on a ride. Although it looks like just a toolbox for prying eyes, the MTM DUAL offers you a smartly-designed and light way to transport a small pistol. It barely weighs 3 pounds and offers an open layout that will allow you to choose the best way to place all items: if you want to privilege extra ammo or ensure everything can be reached for as quickly as possible, it will be fully up to you.
The case itself is made from polymer, which is sturdy enough to be dumped on your back seat and forgotten about. The compressible foam planks it comes with will be easy enough to customize and will cushion your revolvers from the occasional vibrations that may affect them during the trip. The surface and latches are nicely textured.
- Size: 14.90 x 12.10 x 9.60 inches
- Capacity: 4 pistols and 12 extra magazines
- Special features: Certified Airline approved (checked luggage only), silica gel holders, waterproof and dustproof
If you are a fan of pistols who lives (or frequently travels to) places with high humidity or lots of dust, then this is the kind of case that will double as a maintenance investment as well as a simple form of storage. Thanks to its silica gel inner holders, which replace the usual polyethylene foam used by most brands, this case offers extended anti-rust protection for your pistol and all its components. The silica is also more durable and firmer than standard foam, which allows you to play around a bit more with your object placement.
The latch was specifically designed to be easy to operate, but still provides enough room for you to add a padlock or a combination lock. The latch and the lining are pressure-closed, which has helped this model earn airline approval.
- Size: 1.64 x 8.34 x 3.78 inches
- Capacity: One revolver plus accessories
- Special features: TSA approved, automatic pressure equalization, dustproof, watertight
Pelican is a well-respected name among military contractors around the world, so when you buy one of their cases, you can rest assured that you are getting professional technology and construction. The 1170 Pistol case is no exception. It offers complete protection from the elements, it’s remarkably crushproof, and it meets all the necessary standard for air travel and ground transport alike.
The hard, external shell is made from high-impact polycarbonate, supported by stainless steel hardware. The inside of the case uses an open-cell core with a solid wall design, further improved by the presence of a convoluted lid foam. This will allow you to “pick and pluck” your items and accessories quickly. The double throw latches tie around an oversized folding handle, allowing you to quickly throw a padlock around after passing all required security checks. The waterproofing standard is so high that many professional travelers use this case to secure their high-definition cameras and electronics while braving the waves, which means your gun will be fully protected from water and humidity.
- Size: 8.75 x 11 x 1.75 inches
- Capacity: Single Pistol and ammo
- Special features: Lockable zippers, all-weather nylon
Sometimes, a fully armored hardshell pistol case is not necessary, especially if you have the privilege of having a shooting range within a short drive of your home. In such cases, a soft tactical case will meet your needs at least 90% of the time, without overloading your back and at a fraction of the price.
5.11 is a highly reputed provider of tactical gear, and their ample catalogue provides a number of options meant to meet the needs of professionals and hobbyists alike. This single pistol case was created precisely for those who need to transport their guns within the city on a frequent basis and therefore need a discreet and unobtrusive way to do so. Thanks to its reinforced grab-and-go handles and heavy-duty elastic straps, this case will stay in shape and protect the gun inside throughout the day. It is also remarkably flat, allowing you to find a space for it quickly.
Finally, if you ever need to use shared transport, the lockable YKK zippers and external nametape will ensure everything is safe and accounted for.
- Size: 20.1 x 13.8 x 10.1 inches
- Capacity: Up to four handguns, mags, and ammo
- Special Features: Mildly shockproof, backpack model with extra pockets for supporting equipment or accessories
Competition shooters are often faced with the uncomfortable reality of needing to devote their entire trunk space to their hardshell gun cases, which leaves very little room for other accessories, gadgets, and even clothes for the trip. Add that to the energy and time wasted packing and unloading everything upon arrival, and just the drive to the range may begin to feel like a workout.
As convenient as it would seem to simply throw everything on a backpack and be done with it, the truth is that all that bumping around would damage your guns – unless, of course, you get a specialized backpack that includes individual foam cradle slides for each piece. The GPS Handgunner allows you to fit up to 4 handguns horizontally and keeps each one snugly safe from shocks and vibrations. In addition, the 4 supporting pockets will provide you with an organized way to carry ammo, extra mags, ear muffs, and even a bottle of water.
- Size: 9.4 x 6.5 x 2 inches
- Capacity: One handgun plus ammo
- Special features: Secure lockbox, TSA-friendly, 4-layer foam lining
Not everyone is willing to advertise the fact that they are traveling with a gun by checking an entire rifle box at the counter, but unfortunately, most TSA-approved gun safes rarely fit easily in a standard suitcase. The AdirOffice Travel Gun Safe seeks to break this limitation by offering a compact, yet fully pressurized way to transport a small handgun.
Thanks to its 4-layer foam lining with moisture-absorption properties, this small case offers internal and external protection alike. It is made from sturdy steel with a scratch-resistant surface. It was specifically designed to resist any blunt force from prying hands who may be trying to access its contents. That’s a lot of strength for such a small and discreet case.
In addition, the Lock Box latch is fully childproofed and can be additionally secured with a combination, or affixed to an immovable object with the included coated steel anchor cable. This means that after the trip, the same box can easily become a burglar-proof and safe way to store your gun for the long term.
- Size: 11.64 x 8.34 x 3.78 inches
- Capacity: One or two handguns plus accessories
- Special features: Watertight, Copolymer3 and steel construction
Despite the apparent slimness of the overall package, Plano’s 1404 model offers remarkable space and superior protection while still keeping its final price tag firmly in “mid-range” territory. This case offers enough room for up to three layers of items, all secured with the included hard foam that is meant to ensure nothing gets hit or uncalibrated.
The secret to this accomplishment was using smart materials in addition to smart placement design. The high-density foam used allows thinner layers while still maintaining adequate protection. In addition, a set of security straps will keep each foam layer in place. The outside of the case is made from a copolymer3 blend, which is shock-resistant and moisture-resistant. Finally, the security clamps are sturdy and unlikely to ever be opened by a child, which means everything inside will remain safe, and yet easy to reach for on relatively short notice.
- Size: 18.7 x 14.8 x 7 inches
- Capacity: One or two handguns plus accessories
- Special features: Powerclaw latches, industrial-grade resin construction
Nanuk specializes in making highly resistant winter and tactical adventure gear. The unifying concept behind all their products is to ensure they are able to resist the harshest weather conditions, alongside several harsh bumps while on the road.
This hard case meets and exceeds this goal. The external NK-7 resin is incredibly resilient and meant to survive direct blows or punches. When combined with two triple-action latches and a great deal of compressive force when closing, this technology results in a fully waterproofed and airtight case. If this doesn’t seem quite enough to ensure your handgun remains safe during your next trip, then simply mix and match between the two different inner lining styles: a customizable cubed foam or a padded divider. As a final bonus, this case is available in five different colors, in addition to the traditional black.
- Size: 13.9 x 7.7 x 2.5 inches
- Capacity: Two handguns and extra magazines
- Special Features: Conceal-carry friendly, anti-debris zippers
The name leaves little doubt regarding the ultimate goal of this swanky soft gun case. Ideal for anyone who needs to be able to be “on the go” at a minute’s notice, this is a great product for city law enforcement officers who are unlikely to need to rough it in the woods but who need to avoid getting too many glares as a matter of basic survival.
Spacious despite its lightweight (just 8 ounces), this case has six elastic loops that will allow you to combine the different items and accessories that you need to pack while still keeping each one safe. If you are focusing on ammo, for example, you can easily fit 12 single stack magazines rather than the recommended two-handgun limit.
The dual zipper makes it easy to open without losing shape, balance, or getting tangled. During transport, the lack of an aluminum structure is compensated for by the efficient wrap-around handle system, which distributes the weight evenly.