Best Hard Pistol Cases

I have a very strict gun control policy. If there’s a gun around, I want to be in control of it - Clint Eastwood

For more than two hundred years the Second Amendment has protected, and guaranteed, our right to bear arms.

An iron-clad freedom that is central to the Bill of Rights, it serves as a reminder that no citizen of our nation should ever be forced to bend the knee to tyranny or oppression and is legally permitted to keep firearms as a measure to prevent the erosion of the values that we hold dear.

While the chances of us ever having to defend the liberty  granted to us by the Constitution are almost non-existent and we’re not legally obligated to own a gun, most of us exercise our right in order to provide an additional level of home security and safety.

After all, we live in troubling times, and sometimes you need the reassurance that a gun provides. 

Obligation, responsibility, and duty are more than just words for a gun owner.

They’re part of a code that we all take to heart and endeavor to live up to, and the safe operation and storage of the weapons in our possession is a contract that we all knowingly enter into when we become gun owners.

That’s why we have gun safes in our homes, but as it’s difficult to take a safe with you when you need to transport your weapons, you’ll need to find an alternative way to ensure that you can do so safely and securely.

And that’s why we’ve put together a list of the best hard pistol cases currently available so that wherever you roam, you can take your handgun with you, safe in the knowledge that it can do no harm, but will if you need it, be available in an instant.

It’s time to start thinking about how to pack your weapons safely, so let’s find the case that you’ll want, and need, to do just that with. 

OUR TOP PICK

They may have taken their name from a harmless underwater denizen, but that’s about all that Seahorse has in common with the inhabitants of the ocean.

They are, in their own words, producers of top-line protective cases that come with a lifetime guarantee.

Safety and security lie at the heart of everything that matters most to Seahorse, and that’s why they're a brand that legions of gun owners have, and continue to, put their faith in. 

The SE630 is designed to hold four pistols and twelve additional magazines and has an additional middle space that has enough room for ear defenders and safety glasses which make it ideal for transporting your weapons to the range.

Water and impact-proof, the foam insert that this case uses is also made to be a completely close cell and is lubricant and gun cleaner resistant, which helps to prevent corrosion and damage during transit.  

A lightweight, durable case that’s been engineered with security in mind, the SE630 exemplifies everything that Seahorse holds dear.

Fully TSA (Transportation Security Administration) compliant, the SE630 meets all of the strict standards that the airline industry enforces, and is as such is can be used to take your weapons with you on any domestic flights, as long as you remember that they’ll have to be stowed in the hold and that you can’t take them on board with you. 

Pros

  • Hardy, durable, and light, the SE 630 is waterproof and impact resistant. It’s been engineered to take all the knocks and punishment that a lifetime of being carried from range to range involves. 
  • And while we’re on the subject of lifetimes, all Seahorse cases are guaranteed against manufacturing and material defects for their effective lifespans. If your case should fail due to an error in craftsmanship, then Seashore will replace it, no questions asked. 
  • With enough room for four pistols, twelve additional magazines, safety glasses, and ear defenders the SE 630 is an ideal range case. You’ll be able to pack and load everything that you need to practice and maintain your skillset in one convenient and secure case.
  • Even though it’s fitted with standard security latches, the SE 630 has been designed to allow you to use additional padlocks to increase its inherent level of security to one that you’re comfortable, and can happily live with.
  • It’s been designed to comply with all airline and TSA regulations and standards and has an in-built pressure equalization system, so it’ll keep your weapons safe when you need to hop on a domestic flight and take them with you.

Cons

  • The SE 630 was designed to carry 1911’s and similarly sized pistols.  Even though it’ll safely carry most 9MM’s and revolvers, it hasn’t been made or engineered with larger handguns in mind. If your weapons are on the slightly larger and more cumbersome side, it might be worth enquiring about switching the closed capsule foam interior before you invest in the SE 630. If you don’t, you might end up with a pistol case that’s too small for your guns. 

EDITORS CHOICE

The Pelican story started in nineteen seventy-six with a homemade buoyancy marker for scuba divers.

It’s all been uphill from there for Pelican, and today they’re one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-performance, protective cases that have been designed to cope with all of the rigors and trials that the world can, and will throw at them.

While it isn’t a purpose-built gun case, thanks to the 1200 using Pelican’s patented Pick N Pluck high-density foam interior which consists of a series of removable and interchangeable one-centimeter blocks, you can fashion a custom carrying system that suits you and your weapons.

Completely watertight, the 1200 is fitted with a pressure equalization valve and sealed with an O ring to make sure that no water, even if you drop it in a lake, a river, or the ocean can make it past the locks of this case.

Made from crush-proof Copolymer-Polypropylene that’s fitted with stainless steel hardware, the 1200 is also, according to Pelican, almost indestructible. 

Approved for the purpose of carrying firearms by the TSA and airline regulations, the 1200 has been deliberately over-engineered by Pelican because they believe that your best can always be better.

Rugged, versatile, and endlessly adaptable, it’s a case that will pander to, and serve all of, the demands of the hardest to please gun owner.

Pros

  • Waterproof and, according to Pelican at least, just about indestructible, the 1200 is a case that guarantees the safety of your weapons. Once they’re locked inside, the only person that will ever be able to remove them from its confines is you. 
  • Pelican’s patented Pick N Pluck foam system allows you to fashion the interior of the case to suit your needs and can be adapted to fit just about any pistol or handgun. 
  • It’s fully TSA and airline guideline compliant and can be used to safely transport your weapons in the hold of domestic flight. 
  • The first choice cases of police forces, military personnel, and emergency responders the world over, Pelican have forged their reputation the hard way. By making protective cases that do exactly what they say they will for the people on the front-line of life.

Cons

  • As hard as we tried, we couldn’t find any. We put this case through hell and it survived without a scratch. The only minor niggle that we have is that it can take a while to get to grips with the Pluck N Play system, and if you’re as exacting in your approach to ensuring that everything is perfect as we are, you’ll spend an inordinate amount of time designing and redesigning the foam interior. 

BEST VALUE

Case Club was founded on a set of core beliefs, all of which manifest themselves in their product.

They believe in integrity, designing solutions to the most complex problems, and creating affordable, durable cases for their clients.

They’re a brand that works to ensure that you and your needs are met, whatever they are, without question. 

This case has been made to hold four pistols and sixteen additional magazines, is completely water and dustproof and has a built-in pressure release valve.

Secured by two metal heavy duty security locks that are fitted with loops that are made to be used with metal padlocks for extra security, this case is also fully TSA and airline regulation compliant.  

It also includes a separate, rechargeable silica gel-filled canister that will absorb any moisture in the air within the case which will keep your weapons rust free and in prime operating and working condition.

It’s been engineered so that your pistols sit in the case in the quick draw position so that when you do remove them from the case, you can do so safely and correctly.

And the heavy-duty foam interior has been designed to fulfill dual roles, so it’s easy to convert the case from a four pistol configuration to a three weapon friendly version.

Whatever you, and your handguns, need this case to be, and do, it can and will comply with your every requirement.  

Pros

  • Engineered to be durable under the harshest of conditions, this case’s upgraded Gen2 design means that it’s light, has a small footprint, and is made to be versatile and adapt seamlessly to your individual needs and requirements. 
  • Fully dust and corrosion proof, it’s IP67 rated construction means that it can also be submerged underwater and will remain impervious to the elements.
  • It’s also TSA and airline regulation-compliant, so it’s a safe way to transport your handguns from state to state on any domestic passenger flight.
  • The dual-purpose design of the heavy-duty foam means it’s ideally suited to a four or three pistol configuration and can also easily be adapted to carry a single or two handguns.
  • And it comes with a lifetime warranty. It’ll probably outlast you and end up becoming a family heirloom that’s passed down from one generation to the next.

Cons

  • Case Club doesn’t supply an instruction manual, so you’ll have to try and figure out how to shape, and create the foam configuration that you need by yourself. And that isn’t easy, as it isn’t intuitive or straightforward and the configuration problems that its design poses can take an age to crack. 

RUNNER UP

Plano was founded to improve the quality of tackle boxes, and in their seven-decade history, they haven’t just revolutionized fishing, they’ve also indelibly stamped their identity on gun cases.

They make affordable, sturdy cases for the everyday gun owner and they’re proud of the fact that in the last seventy years, Plano has become an American institution.

This sturdy, durable, and easy to pack and carry case can hold up to four pistols and four additional magazines sandwiched securely between its three layers of high-density foam.

Built with a Dri-Loc seal, the 1404 Protector is weather and element proof, and because it’s been fashioned from thick-walled, industrial-strength polypropylene, will take every beating that a life of handgun transportation will inflict on it without a care and will be as durable at the end of its serviceable life as it was on the first day that you loaded it. 

Life doesn’t have to be complicated, it doesn’t have to be difficult and every problem doesn’t need to be resolved with an overly complex answer.

Sometimes the simplest solution is best, and that’s exactly what 1404 is, a simple solution to your pistol transportation problems. 

Pros

  • It’ll comfortably hold up to four pistols and four additional magazines between its three layers of high-density foam, which should provide enough room to carry all the weapons that you’ll want to take with you to the range.
  • It’s tough, durable, and should provide you with a lifetime of hassle-free pistol transportation.
  • The Protector 1404 comes with a limited lifetime warranty, so if it fails due to manufacturing errors, Plano will happily replace it or refund you. It’s your choice.
  • Made to be affordable, it effortlessly falls within the limitations of even the strictest budgets. The Protector is, as we said,  made with every gun owner in mind.

Cons

  • It isn’t TSA or airline compliant, as it only uses a straightforward, basic locking mechanism. You can adapt it to fit their regulations with a little basic engineering know-how, but you won’t be able to fly with it unless you put a little effort into redesigning the locking mechanism and the number of locks that it uses to secure its load. 

RUNNER UP

Nanuk is the Inuit word for a polar bear, and they named themselves after one of Nature's most fierce apex predators, because like the bear, their cases are designed to thrive in even the harshest environments.

This Canadian company doesn’t claim to be one of the best manufacturers of hard pistol cases in the world, they take great pride in telling anyone and everyone that they are, without exception, the very best global manufacturer of gun cases.

It’s a bold statement, but it’s effortlessly backed up by the staggering cases that bear their name. 

Able to carry four pistols in the quick draw position and ten additional single or double stack magazines, this waterproof, impact-resistant case uses Nanuk’s patented Power Claw latching system to keep everything inside safe and secure. 

The high-density foam insert is pre-cut, so you can load your handguns as soon as you open it. And thanks to having been fashioned to use additional padlocks, it’s fully TSA and airline regulation compliant and can, and will, travel anywhere and everywhere with you.

Military approved, this case comes bearing a standard that’s famous throughout the frozen North, the Nannuk advantage.

Engineered, designed, and manufactured to be the best of the very best, this pistol case like the bear it was named after, is a fierce beast that can, and will rise to, and defeat any challenge it faces.

Pros

  • When a case gets two thumbs up from the military, you know that your weapons will always be safe and secure when you entrust them to it. 
  • Hardy, durable, and built to last a lifetime, the Nanuk 925 is waterproof and impact-resistant and made to provide decades of service.
  • And while we’re on the subject of lifetimes, the Nanuk has a lifetime warranty so if anything should go wrong, you can always depend on Nanuk to either replace your case or refund you. 
  • It’s fully TSA and airline regulation-compliant, so where you go, as long as they’re stored in the Nanuk 925, your guns can go too.

Cons

  • Quality control can be an issue. Some gun owners have complained about manufacturing issues, while others have highlighted problems with the way the high-density foam insert fits in the case. That said, as the 925 is covered by Nanuk’s lifetime warranty, any defects that rear their ugly heads, can and will be covered, and taken care of by Nanuk. 
  • It isn’t the most budget-friendly case on our list. Nanuk may very well be the best hard pistol case makers in the world, but their product is priced to match their claim. You might love the 925, but your pocketbook won’t.

Best Hard Pistol Cases Buying Guide

Which Hard Pistol Case Is The Right One For Me? 

That entirely depends on your budget, how many pistols you’ll need it to carry and where you’re planning on travelling to.

If you only need a case to take your pistols to the range and back and don’t need it for anything else, then the only hard pistol case that you’ll ever need is the Plano.

It’s basic, affordable, and straightforward, but it’ll ensure that your handguns safely make it to the range every single time. 

However, if you're looking to venture further afield with your pistols and plan on hopping on a flight or two to get there, then ideally, the hard pistol case that you need to invest your hard-earned dollars and time in is the Seahorse SE630.

It’s durable, versatile, has enough space to carry numerous pistols and is fully TSA and Airline Regulation compliant.

Remember, always be safe and always keep your guns secure. And, hopefully, we’ll see you on the range. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is A Hard Pistol Case? 

A hard pistol case is a case that has been designed and manufactured to safely and securely transport handguns between your home and the gun range, and anywhere else that you are legally permitted to, and able to take a pistol.

Usually made from impact-resistant and waterproof polypropylene or reinforced and toughened industrial-grade plastic, and fitted with high-density foam inserts, hard pistol cases are engineered to protect your weapons from any, and all, environments. 

Most hard pistol cases are also engineered to be fully TSA (Transport Security Administration) and Airline Regulation compliant, which means that they can be used to transport pistols within the hold of any domestic airline flights.

They cannot be used to take handguns on international flights as the law governing the possession of firearms varies from country to country and as such, no firearms are legally allowed to be carried by any international flight.

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