Gun Cases: Soft vs. Hard

hard or soft gun case

Gun cases. No not gun locks or gun safes, but cases used for transporting a gun from place to place. This is an important accessory for any firearm, and there’s a variety of them out there from what’s known as a gun sock to an actual lockable hard case.

With all the different options out there, you’ll have to spend some time deciding what you need. To help, I have put together some information below to tell you what you need to know. I also tell you what I do.

What Makes a Hard Case Good for Your Gun?

Open luxury black case for weapons with combination lock and leather inserts isolate on a white background.
Image from Getty

Hard cases for rifles, shotguns, and pistols offer more protection. That’s the biggest plus of a hard gun case. Your firearm will be safe during transport. The interior of these cases is a soft foam material, and the exterior of these cases is either hard plastic, aluminum, or fiberglass material.

Hard gun cases also hold the weapon in place while it’s being transported from place to place. If you have a scope on your gun or want to carry around extra magazines, accessories, or ammo in your gun case you can without it shifting around.

What Makes a Soft Case Good for Your Gun?

Green soft case for guns isolated for white background
Image from Getty

Soft cases on the other hand are convenient, lightweight, and inexpensive. They’re a fantastic option if you’re on a budget and just need something to add some protection to your gun.

They’re also great out in the field. Have a super long hike before you get to your treestand? A soft case can come in handy. Some guys will want their weapon out of the case, but many carry a soft case out to their hunting spot. The same goes if you are hunting a huge area and use a four-wheeler or some other ATV to get way out there. The convenience and ease of use are what make soft cases good.

Which Type of Gun Case Should You Get?

Man with gun in hands is hunting in the winter forest. He is turned back to the camera.
Image from Getty

Get both. If you can only have one, I’d go with a well-padded soft case, but if you have some extra money, buy yourself a good soft case and a good hard case.

With the soft case, look for something that’s going to actually provide protection. There are many cheap soft cases out there with very little protection at all.

When it comes to hard cases, it’s nice to have something that has the option to actually lock the case. Some have a spot for you to add an actual external lock. Others will have a lock built into the case. Either is fine, but it’s a nice peace-of-mind feature to have.

If you’re not worried about that, simply make sure the case has enough room for your firearm and anything else you want to bring along, like extra magazines or accessories. Generally, even hard cases aren’t wildly expensive, and you should be able to find one of each type to suit your needs for a reasonable sum. 

What do you prefer? Leave a comment below. If you’re in need of a new gun case, check out Gander’s selection

Gun cases - soft vs. hard



  1. I like hard cases more because of the soft foam insert. I want my gun to be protected when I travel with it. I’d rather have it sitting still in foam than just in a bag.

  2. Hard shell cases most certainly provide more protection. The gorilla in Samsonite luggage commercials proved such decades ago-lol. If your not going to be bouncing around off road, soft cases are still great too. I use both depending on what kind of bouncing around-or lack there of- that I’ll be doing. One thing I learned, is to not leave the firearm in your vehicle overnight, even if it’s in the case. Especially where temperatures change more extremely.

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