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  • Writer's pictureRay Campbell

I Tested And Ranked The Best AR-15 Hard Cases In 2023

The right hard rifle case will help keep your AR-15 safe and protected. Here are the best options for the money, and I promise you'll wonder how you went so long without one of these in your life.

best ar15 hard cases

FYI, prices and ratings are accurate as of time of writing.

1. Plano All Weather II - With Pluck-To-Fit Foam

Top-rated: 8,296 ratings | 533 answered questions

best ar15 hard cases


Highlight: Pluck-to-fit foam for easy customization keeps your firearms in place and protected.

Helpful review: "Aesthetically it looks better than the original version. Plano proudly imprinted 'MADE IN THE USA' on top of the case. I love it! Mechanically, this newer case is less rigid comparing to the V1. However, it still protects your gear if you drop it. I'm not sure about water immersion. I cut the plucking foam with an electric turkey carver to fit my rifle. I ordered a 36” and this fits nicely with a 16” AR rifle with scope. I will definitely buy again." — Liam Valdez
Trending review: "I had bought this case for my AR-15 and my Mossberg 930spx with concerns that I wouldn't have enough room for the both of them. When I got the case I spent about 3 hours laying everything out and finally pulling out the foam. I did have to cut into some of the foam that is on the barriers for the bottom of the buttstock and for the sights. They both fit like a glove. I am also able to fit 6 magazines for my AR-15 as well as a side saddle (which sadly wont fit on the shotgun but I wasn't expecting it to), as well as the forehand grip, tac-light, and optic all within the case. Unfortunately I wasn't able to fit my two Glocks, but that's ok. I would rather get another case for those and keep the accessories with the corresponding firearm. The case is very durable and does compare to the higher-end cases I own (Primarily Pelican)." — Chris Lexford
Reassuring review: "This is a very well built case! I absolutely love it. Fits my rifle perfectly with plenty of room for mags and my 9mm handgun. Definitely recommend for everyone. I got the 36" case, and my 32" AR fits perfectly. There's extra room, even with my red dot sight on it. Came with keys to lock the case. The locks are built into it. I would still use an actual lock and key with it anyway just to keep it safe. Otherwise, nothing wrong with it and I absolutely love their work. Thank you!" — Andy Hoffman
Most-discussed review: "I bought this case for my first AR. The Pluck-to-Fit feature was nice, but I found it easier to use my finger to separate and tear up the foam. I have upgraded my AR three times since, and added a pistol and magazines to the case. Each time adjusting the cutout was simple and easy, after I got the hang of it. The only disadvantage to this case is you can't put what you cut out back in. So once you have a fit, that's it. There's no way to going back for smaller weapon sizes. Overall 10/10!" — Ryan Pesche
Updated review: "I bought the 36" case for my 9mm AR pistol and Glock 19. It's great easy to use. I must admit the customization was very quick with the pluck-to-fit foam. I was originally going to buy a 42" for my AR 15, but after fitment check my AR fits really nice in the 36" also. So I'll be buying another case. That's how happy I am with it." — Edgar Morris

Get it from Amazon now: $113.92 & FREE Returns


2. Pelican Vault V800 - Wide Hard Case With Foam

Top-rated: 374 ratings | 34 answered questions

best ar15 hard cases


Highlight: Comes with Pelican's Lifetime Guarantee of Excellence.

Helpful review: "We used these as tool boxes in field support, and they withstood years of getting beat up. So when I was looking for a case for my rifle system I knew I had to have THIS case to protect my firearms.
Over the years, I've only seen 2 problems with this case:
1) The old style latch broke off. But this one here has the new style latches, so that's all fixed!
2) I've seen a wheel missing once and have no idea how that happened at all.
We used closed cell foam in our tool boxes but this comes with solid open cell foam (not pluck-n-pick). This foam is easy to work with and I highly suggest you put a $12 electrical carving knife in your cart as that's the best way to cut this stuff out for your custom fit jobs.
I gave a shot with some wire heated knives and it was just too sloppy, so I went back to the carving knife. The open cell foam WILL start getting crusty over the years as you pull gear in and out of it, so another trick is to get a can aerosol of Plasti-dip and spray that over the top of the foam after you've made your cut outs. It keeps it holding together much longer and has a great feel to it, so it's really a great investment for the long run with this case.
I think this is a great size for a case, in case you want more than just one weapon in one carrying case or a full system for the range. I have a 20" LWRCI REPR, 13.5" scope (with 2" sunshade), Atlas bipod, 4x 20rd Pmags, Glock 17, and 8x 9mm mags. Other shooters have a 16" AR-15, a shotgun, and a pistol for 3-gunning in the box. I have more modest needs, but this is definitely the case for 3-gunners! In the top foam I just have a few orange Desiccant sardine cans (please don't buy blue-to-pink) and behind it just some ziplock bags of allen wrenches, star wrenches, range log book, tools that just come with hard parts, and a bore snake. Basic essentials IMO.
I could rant on about this case, but in a nutshell, if you drifted onto this case or were suggested to get it, put it in the cart and just buy it. The knock-offs are still trying to put out a case like this in a cheaper price range but they will never do it like Pelican does.
If you were looking at the smaller Storm case, don't do it... You'll eventually want more stuff in one box and foam is only $20.
This is a very tough case, It protects your gear if you cut out the foam and place parts properly, and above all, it is TSA approved. This last part is very important, as not all cases that CAN hold guns are approved as actually being gun cases in some locations." — Chuck Larson

Get it from Amazon now: $229.95 & FREE Returns


3. Plano H-Series - Single Scoped Or Double Non-Scoped

Top-rated: 7,336 ratings | 145 answered questions

best ar15 hard cases


Highlight: Soft, high density foam padding ensures your rifles stay scuff-free and secure for optimal protection.

Helpful review: "This is a very basic case, and it does its intended purpose well. It is on the large side, but I wanted to have the extra space. I haven't decided on an optic yet for my AR 15, so I wanted to be sure to leave extra room. Additionally, I wanted space for extra magazines, possibly a handgun or two, etc... For the money, it's sturdy and durable enough. It doesn't exactly reek of quality, but I wasn't expecting that. The latches don't always line up perfectly the first time as there is some flex. However, with minor finagling, it latches just fine. So all in all, I'm satisfied with this purchase." — Matt Daniels
Trending review: "I remember Plano always offering higher quality. This is the only hard case I have, and it is everything I expected. Of all things, I needed a long case for a pellet rifle. It fit. For some reason pellet rifles are long. A scope is mounted on the rifle, and the case also fits cans of pellets, a box of CO2, and my BB pistol. It will also fit my 2 ARs, one with a scope and another with carry handle plus mags, so I can walk into the range with just this one case. Cover, latches, and foam are all high quality. Thinking about buying a 2nd if I see it on sale." — Dennis Roa-Cole
Reassuring review: "Not too much to complain about considering it was pretty cheap. Holds an AR with an optic just fine, and leaves plenty of room for extra magazines, accessories, or even a pistol or two. Foam seems to keep everything in place well, and the clasps have stayed snapped shut just fine. Great storage case if you don’t want to spend a lot of money." — Emilie Murphy
Most-discussed review: "Very nice case for the money. It's huge! All I'm putting in mine is my 30-30 Winchester, but I also use it to travel to put all my guns in it, like my AR 15 with all its accessories. I have no issues. I haven't tried to fit in it 2 non-scoped rifles yet, but I bought it mainly for how huge it was for the money. You see, I didn't want to buy a small one for just one particular gun, so I bought one that could carry all my guns, which ever one I decide to take. And I'm happy to report that it keeps all my guns safe and well-protected" — Josh Fray
Updated review: "This case fits my needs perfectly. I needed a place to store my AR-15 and 870 shotgun but didn't want to spent a lot, like for a Pelican case. The case is made of hard plastic and has a loop to add a padlock if you desire. I have both rifles in the same case and they fit neatly. They don't bump, as with the foam inside they don't move around at all. There is only one layer of foam on the top and the bottom, so cutting it to the shape of the gun is out because it will defeat the protective quality of the case. But honestly, for the money, it's great." — Bill Fredette

Get it from Amazon now: $54.99 & FREE Returns


4. HQ ISSUE - Tactical Rifle Case With Foam

Top-rated: 755 ratings | 45 answered questions

best ar15 hard cases


Highlight: Sturdy wheels for easy transport.

Helpful review: "Love this case. It has all of the features of cases more than twice the price. The case closes tightly with no gaps, and it has layers of foam, including the pull out tab foam, that we weren't expecting. It proved waterproof during heavy downpours with the case being in the bed of my Pickup. It has plenty of room for an AR (18" barrel) with sights on the top rail, and several magazines and optional equipment. I like the case so much, I will be getting another one soon." — Ted Baker
Trending review: "This is a great case for a single 16" AR and companion pistol. I've seen some reviews doubting sturdiness. Well, I have this HQ case, a Pelican Vault, and an Eylar. I would put this on par with the Eylar which costs almost twice as much. Pelican cases are premium, and are generally better on all levels, but when you need 3 or 4 cases, Pelican gets more expensive than what you are storing in them. I have no regrets after buying this case and I will likely get another." — Aaron Gladstone
Reassuring review: "It’s not a $500 Pelican case but it fits my needs perfectly. Unless I were headed to the Australian Outback on a two-year motorcycle excursion, I’d be hard pressed to justify spending $500 for a gun case when I could purchase this one at a fraction of the cost. It will protect my rifle, get me back and forth to the range, and last a lifetime. The build is rock solid and the quality exceeds the price. I’m very pleased with this purchase." — Jerry Walsh

Get it from Amazon now: $109.99 & FREE Returns


5. Eylar - With Pull-And-Pluck Cubed Foam

Top-rated: 264 ratings | 31 answered questions

best ar15 hard cases


Highlight: Patented IP67 waterproof protection (for up to 1 meter when fully-submerged) with a rubber gasket lining.

Helpful review: "Great value for the $$$... from what I have seen on the range, this is very well built for the money. You will spend triple digits more to get a better one. It's a thick fiber-plastic case with formed ridging, good latches and spots for locks. It opens flat. It has a fitted rubber gasket to ensure water resistance. Foam is dense and easy to use... slightly stuck together... that's normal... very roomy... works in progress. Tools needed for customization: very sharp 4" knife, very sharp scissors, 20 - 1x2" pieces of paper (to mark outlines before you cut), and quick dry contact glue and tooth picks to repair mis-cuts if any. Took 40 minutes to cut the rifle in (measured 3 times, marked outlines with paper pieces, and cut once). Start with big pieces... most difficult part was around shoulder rest and grip. " — Dennis Burchell
Trending review: "It is not a Pelican. nor is it a Pelican knock-off. Lets get the "bad" out of the way. It does not have a handle on one end and wheels on the other. Do I care? I'm just an old mountain man that doesn't travel much with my AR, but when I do, it is rarely where I would wheel my weapon in a case. Having said that. The locking mechanisms are solid and you get two padlock spots. its not "determined-criminal proof" but it is a solid deterrent to opening it. Now I just need to bolt it to my floor. Again, why do I need wheels? The internal is eggcrate foam rubber on the top and 1/2 inch foam rubber pick squares on the bottom. Simple outline with a marker, and pluck away. For our OCD community, the 1/2 squares are also serrated if you so choose such detail, but it is not necessary. Recommend, if in doubt, leaving a square instead of picking it. Do an initial pick, fit the weapon and accessories, pick to fit. You do not need to spend $300 on a quality, waterproof hard case. This case is competitive for a lot less $$." — Ray Tackett
Updated review: "The case is significantly cheaper than a Pelican case with very little difference in quality. I haven't had any serious issues with this case at all. I've been able to fit an AR, two handguns and several magazines with ease. The pick and pluck foam is easy to use although unforgiving. So measure thrice, cut once! The exterior is fairly sturdy and impact resistant. The lock is very convenient and I was able to use this case for transporting a firearm in an airplane because it uses locks, but also has the pressure release valve on the case (that is a very nice feature). Mine did not come with wheels although I have heard some have, so this version is the one without wheels. I do wish that the hinges were better and more sturdy. They are cheaply made, and the seal around the case has been an issue for multiple customers. While I had no serious issues with the seal, I can see it is cheap and haphazardly put in place causing potential issues. Overall, it's a great case for the price. Would definitely recommend and purchase again." — Josh Hazel
Most-discussed review: "This isn't up to military/LE uses, nor is it on the level of Pelican, but it would serve the average gun owner very well. It should resist rain when lying down flat but I certainly wouldn't expect you to throw this in a river and fish it out with a dry gun inside. But then again, a case that can be counted on to do that costs 3-4 times as much. My 42" Eylar can hold my AR with RD site, two 40 round mags, a 10 round mag, a large scope, small tools, my sighting laser, and my detached weapon light, all without any issues. If you want to hold more than that, get a larger version. I recommend using O-ring seal gel as I do on the O-ring to make the most of the seal and to keep the lid from sticking to the O-ring over time." — Matt Ormandy
Favorite review: "So normally I don't write reviews but I feel this one warrants one. I had looked around for a gun case both online and in stores, and found most places were up-charging quite a bit. If you are storing a single AR-15 or something similar with a pistol and accessories, then this case is for you. Just use a marker to outline everything, then pull out a little less than what you marked. After comparing, pick and pull until everything fits well. When done, flip the foam to have a nice clean look. All in all, this case is worth every penny in my opinion." — Michael Cooper

Get it from Amazon now: $169.99 & FREE Returns

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