Best AR-15 Pistol Cases of 2020 – Top Picks Reviewed

| Last Updated: February 10, 2021

Are you looking for the best AR-15 pistol case? If so, then you’re in the right place.

Finding a suitable case to store your AR-15 pistol when it’s not in use is important, especially when you want to keep it secure so it won’t be easily accessible. At the same time, you want to protect it from all kinds of dust or any environmental elements that may damage your pistol.

To help you along with your decision process, we’ve taken the liberty of hand-picking six of the best AR-15 pistol cases that are currently on the market. Before we get to the list, we’ll talk about the types of pistol cases that are available and how you can choose one for your own use.

Comparison Chart of the Best AR-15 Pistol Cases

  • Four side compartments for magazines.
  • Best overall AR-15 pistol case on the market.
  • Made from high-quality PVC for water and chemical resistance.
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  • Full-length heavy-duty zipper.
  • Contains three outer pockets for magazines.
  • Made from high-quality polyester that is water-resistant.
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  • Best AR-15 pistol case for the money.
  • All kinds of loops for magazine storage.
  • Has ample storage space for your pistol, magazines, and other accessories.
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  • Durable snap down latches.
  • Molded interior to keep the pistol held in place.
  • Holds up to two pistols plus various accessories.
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  • Made from high-quality nylon.
  • Measures up to 27 inches in length.
  • Additional compartments for magazines, accessories, and optics.
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  • Holds additional magazines and accessories.
  • Made from high-quality materials for superior durability.
  • Waterproof. Does not allow water to gain access inside the case.
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Types of Pistol Cases

There are a few types of pistol cases currently on the market. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages, but they all have the purpose of providing storage space for your AR-15 pistol and the accessories that go with it. Here are some of the most popular varieties:

Hard Shell Cases

To begin, we have one of the more tried and true pistol cases, those that come with a hard shell. These are durable, dust-proof, waterproof, crush-proof, and nearly indestructible. A hard shell case is likely the one type of case that will provide the ultimate in protection for your AR-15 pistol.

One of the main disadvantages that are common in these cases is that some of them may be a little heavier in weight. Plus, they also may be bulky and can take up space. Traveling and transport might be a little bit of a challenge. However, most hard shell cases will likely be approved by TSA if you’re adding it on as checked luggage.

Soft Shell Cases

Alternatively, you may find a soft shell case more to your liking. These are made from materials like neoprene, nylon, or almost any fabric that claims to be strong and hard to tear. This will be soft on the outside but will have thick enough padding to absorb some shock from being dropped at certain heights. Transport and portability will be easier since most of these cases are light in weight.

However, if the drop is much higher (i.e. 10 feet) it may damage the pistol and even cause some parts to break. Another disadvantage is that these cases won’t be as waterproof compared to their hard-shelled counterparts.

How to Choose a Case for Your AR-15 Pistol

Knowing what to distinguish between a great pistol case from one that is low-quality and flimsy is essential. This list will give you a good idea of what to choose. Keep in mind that this should be considered a long-term investment on your end. You want it to last you a long time and be reliable for years or even decades to come. This is way different than having to go through many over the course of a year or two. Here’s what you should be looking for:

Hard Shell or Soft Shell

Some AR-15 pistol owners have their preferences. Some like a hard shell and some like a soft shell. The question is: where do you stand? Do you intend to travel with your pistol? Or do you need something for easy transport? Your decision will be based on your own needs and preferences. If you’re a first-time buyer, consider the case types above so you can get a good idea of what to expect if you’re having trouble deciding.


The materials that are used to make these cases should be of the highest in quality so that they have a better chance of lasting a long time as opposed to easily getting torn apart or damaged. If you’re looking for a hard case, most of them will be made out of polymer. Some will be made out of metal materials like aluminum.

Regardless, they are both proven to be tough materials that are hard to damage. For soft shells, some materials that are used include nylon and neoprene. Both of them are the softer counterparts of polymer since they are more durable and less likely to wear and tear over a shorter period of time.


If you’re a budget shopper, odds are the price will probably be a deciding aspect on your end. As you look at cases that fit within your price range, it is imperative that you look for other things as well. For example, find out which materials that the case is made from. The better quality the material, the longer it will last. Find the best you can afford in terms of quality and never settle for a case just because of its cheap price tag.

Quick Take - The Best AR-15 Pistol Cases

Review of the Best AR-15 Pistol Cases

Below are six of the best AR-15 pistol cases currently on the market. While the list might be subject to change, this is what we believe are selling like hotcakes right now for AR-15 pistol owners. Find the best option that fits your personal preferences and needs by taking note of the features and functions.

The pros and cons will also serve as a guide of what to expect should you invest in one of these six cases. With that in mind, let’s kick off the list by unveiling our “best overall” choice:


  • Easy to transport and carry.
  • Will fit PMAG 30 round magazines no problem.
  • Snug, but not too tight fit for most AR-15 pistols.


  • Does not contain a securing strap.
  • Might be a little small for some AR-15 pistols.
  • Mag compartments may not be ideal for curved mags.

First, we’ll be taking a look at the NcSTAR AR & AK Pistol Subgun Gun Case. This is a soft shell pistol case that is designed to handle not just your AR-15 pistol but also other semi-automatic pistols or rifles that you might have. The bag is long enough to handle these kinds of firearms.

So if you’re looking for something that will give you ample space for the perfect storage fit, then you’ll probably want to look at this bag a little closer. On the outside, there are four pockets that you can use to store additional magazines, perfect to have when you’re either spending a day out on the range or if you’re on an all-day hunting trip. It’s always good to have extra magazines handy when you plan on using your AR-15 pistol all day long.

This has super tough zippers that won’t snag on you and will give you a smooth open and shut every time. For extra security, you can add on a small padlock. This is made from PVC material that will not only stand up to water but will also stand up to chemicals that may potentially damage most AR-15 pistols.

Not bad for something that’s considered a “soft shell” pistol case. If you’re simply looking for the best of the best, the NcStar Pistol Subgun Gun Case might be exactly what you’re looking for.

Bottom Line

The NcSTAR is deserving of this best overall spot for all the right reasons. The magazine compartments on the outer part of the case is definitely a worthy convenience for a lot of us carrying extra mags. You never know when you might need them.

This will secure your AR-15 pistol and will fit with ease. It won’t be too tight of a fit nor will it be loose. If you’re looking for a reliable case that can only be considered the best, the NcSTAR might just be your cup of tea.


  • Can fit magazines perfectly.
  • Fits most AR-15 pistols perfectly.
  • Easy to carry, especially when you’re traveling to the range.


  • Zipper may unzip itself in some spots at times.
  • Some reviewers have had issues with the handle placement.
  • AR-15 pistol may not fit in the case if there is an optic attached to it.

Now, we’ll be taking a look at the US PeaceKeeper Products Short Barreled Rifle Case. This case is made from water-resistant polyester that is designed to keep your rifle free from any water damage. It’s long enough to easily fit your AR-15 pistol and also any SBRs that you might have in your arsenal.

If you have both and end up being satisfied with this case, you might end up buying another one just for the other gun. Outside, there are three compartments that you can use to add on any 20 to 30 round magazines. If you have 9mm pistol mags, you can fit up to two in each compartment. Either way, you have a good amount of storage space to work with.

This is guaranteed to last you a long time and it’s backed with a lifetime warranty. So if something goes wrong with it, you’ll be able to get it replaced with no questions asked.

If you’re looking for an excellent case that you can depend on for as long as possible, the US PeaceKeeper rifle case might be something that could give you better protection and portability for your AR-15 pistol.

Bottom Line

This case might just be the best alternative to the NcSTAR. Don’t be surprised if either one of these ends up on our next review list in the coming year. For its part, it does a good job fitting all kinds of AR-15 pistols and SBRs.

It has ample space for magazines ranging from your AR-15 pistol mags to regular pistol mags (although you can fit two of the latter in one compartment). If you’re looking for a reliable case that you plan on using for the long-term, the US PeaceKeeper rifle case could be the best possible option for you.



  • Magazines are fit snug and tight.
  • Easy to transport and carry around.
  • Easy and compact storage for most AR-15 pistols.


  • No drag or shoulder straps.
  • Zippers may feel kind of cheap.

If you’re looking for something that’s more fitting for your budget, then the American Mountain Supply SBR and Pistol Case could be the best for you. One thing that you’ll notice is that this pistol case is made from nylon materials that are designed to protect your AR-15 pistol from water damage.

In fact, the case itself is waterproof. You get all kinds of room for your magazines and other accessories, so you'll have a case for everything you’ll want to take with you at the range—extra mags, scopes, optics, you name it.

This is a pistol case that you’ll want to have if you’re looking for something that will give you plenty of space to work with. And most importantly, it’s all affordable on almost any budget. Even if you have money to play around with, you do not want to pass up on a rifle case quite like this.

This is a case that is durable from the inside and out. So if you’re looking for something that will last you years or even decades, then the American Mountain Supply SBR and AR Pistol Case might be the best thing you can ever buy, whether you’re on a budget or not.

Bottom Line

This is by far one of the best pistol cases for an AR-15 that we've reviewed thus far. And it's probably the best you can possibly afford. Why is this? The overall quality and its waterproof ability are quite impressive.

On top of that, it also provides all kinds of room for your pistol and the accessories and magazines that you need for a day of shooting. If you want something that's easy to use, has a whole lot of space, and won't cost you all kinds of money, then the American Mountain Supply SBR and AR pistol case might be exactly what you need.

Plano Tactical Pistol Case, 1071800 Black, 18


  • Locks in nice and tight.
  • An excellent case for the price it’s going for.
  • May fit more pistols if the magazines are unloaded.


  • Cannot be secured with a small lock.
  • May not be as versatile as some might think.
  • Some reviewers say that the interior padding isn’t enough to protect the pistols inside.

Now, we’ll be taking a look at the Plano 1404 Protector Series Four Pistol Case. This will be our first pistol case that is a hard shell. If you’re looking for something that’s super durable and heavy duty, this case will be right up your alley.

This will hold up to two pistols that will be safe and snug in a molded interior that will be protected from all kinds of shock and damage that might happen should you drop it from various heights. You can secure this properly and be able to add padlocks to it to ensure that you and only you will have access to it. Not only will you have the space to hold your pistol, but you’re also going to have all kinds of space that will handle your optics, scopes, magazines, and all kinds of accessories.

If you’re not in love with the idea of soft shells and would rather go for the toughness of a hard shell case, then the Plano Protector might be just what the doctor ordered.

Bottom Line

The Plano in our opinion is one tough customer. And it’s definitely worth getting your hands on if you fancy yourself a fan of the hard shell cases. You can easily secure and lock your pistol in place so you’ll be able to keep it safe and inaccessible to anyone who may be able to reach for it.

Other than that, it protects your pistol from the inside and out. If you’re looking for a case that is robust and will last you quite a while, the Plano is probably your best pick.


  • Fits most AR-15 pistols with ease.
  • Will fit most 30 round magazines.
  • Very discreet storage and transport; won’t bulge due to the size of your pistol.


  • May not fit most AR-15 pistols or SBRs.
  • Zipper may be a little rough upon initial use.

Now, we’ll be taking a look at the Bulldog Cases Ultra Compact AR-15 Discreet Carry Case. This case is made from highly durable nylon and has an outer shell that is resistant to water. This will protect your AR-15 pistol from ever becoming damaged due to water.

However, don’t confuse water-resistant with waterproof. This case is long enough to fit AR-15 pistols and SBRs. In short, this will handle firearms measured at a total length of 27 inches. If you’re looking for something that will give you discreet carrying and transport, you might look no further than this carrying case in particular.

It’s lightweight and easy to tote around, making it great for taking to and from the range. Plus, you have all the compartments you need in order to store any additional magazines, optics, accessories, or anything else you might have. All in all, this case is what it should be, easy to store your pistol and easy to also carry any extras along with you.

Bottom Line

The Bulldog pistol case has all the right measurements to fit your AR-15 pistol. Of course, it’s not a complete case without the additional space that you’ll need for any other extras like optics, magazines, and any other accessories you might need. This is a soft-shell case that is definitely built to last. If that’s something you might consider for your own pistol, then you might want to give the Bulldog a closer look.

Case Club AR-15 Pre-Cut Waterproof Rifle Case with Included Silica Gel to Help Prevent Gun Rust & Small Waterproof Accessory Box (Gen 2)


  • Protection is outstanding.
  • Does not retain any moisture.
  • Locking mechanism keeps the case inaccessible to anyone else but you.


  • Might be a little heavier than most cases.
  • The lid may not flex when you place your thumb on it.
  • Some of the pockets may not be deep enough for some accessories.

Lastly, we’ll be taking a look at the Case Club Pre-Made AR-15 Waterproof Rifle Case. This is a hard shell case that will stand up to any kind of water damage. In fact, if it’s submerged in water it won’t be able to gain access inside the case.

That’s how secure and airtight this puppy is. On top of that, this case is dustproof and won’t get easily dirty. When the time comes to clean it, you can easily wipe it off with a cloth. If you need to take your AR-15 pistol or SBR anywhere with you, you can be able to use this case since it’s TSA-approved and travel-friendly.

It’s also shippable, so you can easily mail it to someone across the country without any issues (after all, it will be shipped to you if you order it). This is probably the toughest all-around pistol case you might find on the market. If you’re looking for something that’s easy to transport and will keep your AR-15 pistol dry even if the case is submerged underwater, this Case Club rifle case might be the best possible option for you.

Bottom Line

The Case Club rifle case is the go-to case for you if you’re looking for something that will protect your AR-15 pistol from the inside and out. You won’t have to worry about your AR-15 pistol getting damaged by water since the case itself will be so airtight. Plus, it’s hard as a rock and will definitely last you a long period of time so long as you take extra special care of it.

Pros and Cons of Pistol Cases

While there are some advantages that many will enjoy with pistol cases, there are also some disadvantages that you’ll need to know as well. Here’s are some of the pros and cons that are common with these pistol cases:


Easy to Travel With

Whether you’re headed to the range or crossing state lines on the road, it’s always good to have a pistol case that will carry your trusty AR-15 pistol with you. However, if you’re traveling by air you’ll need to find a case that is TSA-approved and can be checked with most bagged luggage. The soft-shell cases are mostly lightweight and will be more ideal for road travel.

Provides Extra Security

You don’t want your AR-15 pistol to be accessible to anyone. That’s why you’ll need a case to lock it up securely so you can prevent anyone from accessing or using your AR-15 pistol without your knowledge. This will also ensure that accidental injuries or deaths are prevented due to lax security.

Hard Shell Cases Are Easy to Clean

Most hard shell cases are made from polymer or other synthetic materials that won’t get easily damaged by water. All it can take is a damp washcloth to wipe off any dust, dirt, or anything that might get the case dirty. Thankfully, most hard shell cases are water-resistant or completely waterproof (meaning that if submerged, the water won’t leak into the case itself).


Hard Cases Are Tough to Transport

Hard cases may be tough all over, but they're also tough in one other aspect (and it’s not a good one). These may be tough to transport or carry around due to the fact that they are a little heavier in weight than their soft shell counterparts. Some of them may have wheels to make the transport a little easier. However, some have no wheels available, therefore making the transport and carry part a little challenging.

Soft Shells May Not Be Secure Enough

While hard shells will likely take padlocks and ensure that the case is shut tight, padlocks on soft shells may be just for looks. They may not provide the same kind of security as they should. That’s why if you have a soft shell pistol case, you’re going to need to put it high up and away from the reach of children.


Finding the best AR-15 pistol case doesn’t have to be a challenge. If you’re looking for something that will give you the ultimate security and protection that you need when you’re not using your AR-15 pistol, then you’ll need a case that is reliable, secure, and capable of preventing it from getting damaged while it’s being stored away.

Also, consider getting a carrying case that may be easy for you to transport from one place to the next. It could be while you’re on vacation or at your usual trip to the range. Find one that will best suit your personal needs and preferences and you’ll have one that will last you for as long as possible. 

Josh Lewis the managing editor at Gun Mann and when he isn't writing about guns he is more than likely tinkering with them. He also enjoys hunting, fishing and spending time outdoors. As a lifelong gun owner he knows his stuff!

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