Practical Carry Cases for AR Rifles
Dr. John Woods 11.13.15
A well decked out expensive AR rifle set up demands a good carry case. ARs are not fragile, but they need protection from every day carry outside the house. Environmental elements, including precipitation like rain, sleet, and snow, as well as windblown dust, dirt, mud, and just plain ole grime will attach itself to an exposed rifle. It just makes sense to have a good case.
Yeah, I know your rifle is going to collect this junk when slung over the shoulder anyway, but until it is deployed in use, it needs to be inside a good protective case. These not only keep the natural elements at bay for a while, especially sitting out in camp, on the tailgate of a truck, or on the rack of an ATV/UTV, but they reduce incidental knocks, bumps, and scratches that can potentially impede the function of the rifle, optics, or other accessories installed on the rifle.
What constitutes a quality AR rifle case? First ask yourself the primary purpose for the AR. If it is a SHTF or prepper rifle, then you might want to maintain a lower profile with a gun in the vehicle or whatever. If it is a hunting rifle, then there’s not so much concern about keeping it discreet, but it should still be protected and unnoticed.
If you want the rifle to be non-discreet, then shop for a plain black zippered case with good padding. Nylon material will wear the best and shed rain droplets, spills, and can easily be brushed off or cleaned with a damp rag. Go with the hand grab handle and skip the shoulder carry strap and outside Velcro® pockets.
Converse to this type of case, if you hunt or perhaps are law enforcement or security, then the cases with heavy padding inside and additional gear pockets outside are the way to go. Buy a case with a good, sturdy zipper that goes both ways. Well-designed cases made just for ARs and like rifles will have built in tie down straps inside to keep the weapon from shifting in the case.
Color wise I think black is the best bet. There are AR cases now that look like sports bags or take down cases that appear to be tennis racket bags. I can see that working. Whatever gun case you get, make sure it protects the rifle.
Editor’s Note: Back when I lived in California and didn’t want to freak my neighbors out, I used a soft guitar case for taking my AR to the range. The gun fits nicely in one of the smaller cases for electric guitars, and there’s a shoulder strap along with plenty of pockets for range tools, ammo, and other necessities. I highly recommend this option if you’re looking for covert AR transport.