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Published Sep 1, 2023 11:00 AM
Pistol cases are an absolute necessity, especially when you’re at the range. Not only does every shooter need a safe way to transport their handguns, but they also need a safe place to store their gun when it isn’t being used at the range. So how do you find the right case for your sidearm? You have to think about things like hard-sided vs. soft-sided, durability, and of course, how easily it can be opened. We rounded up a variety of options that feature different designs to keep handguns stored safely and securely. Here are the best pistol cases for the range.
How We Picked the Best Pistol Cases for the Range
Not all pistol cases are built the same. There’s a wide variety of options available, and they’ve all got target markets. Undoubtedly there are times when you need the absolute best-of-the-best. Other times, less is more. No matter the price point or amount of bells and whistles, one thing almost always holds true: you get what you pay for—at both ends of the spectrum—but that doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker.
When it comes down to picking the pistol cases on this list, the following criteria were used:
- Build Quality: What materials went into making the pistol case and how does that translate into the finished product? Can it withstand being dropped or getting wet? The case needs to be able to protect your firearm.
- Intended Use: Will you be using the pistol case outside? Or maybe you live in a neighborhood where a case that says, “Hey, there’s a gun in here,” is a bad idea, and you want something more discrete. How you’ll use the case will help determine what features you should look for.
- Cost: Does this pistol case provide a good value for the money? Are you getting what you would expect, or more, at a given price point?
Best Pistol Cases: Reviews and Recommendations
Best Overall Case: Vaultek LifePod 2.0
- Water-resistant biometric scanner
- Interior LED light
- Fits handguns up to 9.25”
- This one pistol case works at the range, on the go, and in your house
- Easily organize your guns and other items with the included tray or other separate accessories
- Easy to carry in a bag or with a built-in handle
- Can be overkill for those looking for simple firearm transportation needs
The Vaultek LifePod 2.0 takes the idea of a pistol case for the range and kicks it up a notch or two. This is for the shooter who wants a do-it-all case. There’s plenty of room inside for one or two guns and multiple magazines (depending on size), making it perfect for the range. The case is also TSA-approved, has a built-in interior light, biometric scanner access, is water resistant, and offers excellent drop protection. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you’re going shooting across the country or in inclement weather–the LifePod 2.0 will keep your gun safe and secure. Simply slip it in your range bag or carry it as is.
Best Budget Case: Uncle Mike’s Pistol Rug
- Lockable zipper pulls
- Available in 3 sizes
- Available in black or tan
- The plain color palette doesn’t scream “gun case”
- Perfect protection when paired with your shooting bag
- Can be laid flat or folded over and used as a rest
- Soft cases offer little impact protection
Uncle Mike’s pistol rugs have been a mainstay for shooters of all kinds for decades. These no-frills pistol cases are available in three sizes to fit everything from snub nose revolvers up to large frame pistols with 7.5” barrels. The padded cases are great for carrying your pistols to the range in a larger bag for extra protection. Since they’re soft on the inside and the outside, you can use them as a padded rest to get an even more comfortable, stable shooting position. For extra security and theft deterrent, the zipper pulls can even accommodate a lock. But it is important to note soft cases are easier to break through.
Best Hard Case: Pelican V100 Vault
- Available in green, tan, and black
- Crushproof, dustproof, and weather-resistant
- Four layers of protective foam
- Built like an absolute tank from a name everyone knows and trusts
- Push button latches make it easy to open but incredibly secure when closed
- Backed by Pelican’s lifetime warranty
- There are cases with similar performance at cheaper prices so that you’re not paying for the name
When it comes to hard cases, everyone knows Pelican. They’ve been making heavy-duty hard cases for all kinds of gear for decades. As a result, it’s a no-brainer that their V100 Vault would make our list and claim the award for best hard pistol case. Inside, there’s plenty of room for a couple of handguns (or more, depending on size) as well as some mags and even some other essential gear you may need. It doesn’t matter if you’re shooting in February at an outdoor range in northern Canada or during the August heat in south Texas—this case can handle temperatures from zero degrees to 140 degrees. It is weather-resistant, crushproof, and dustproof to keep your pistols extra safe no matter what gets thrown at them.
- Available with or without a built-in light
- Comes with a rechargeable silica canister
- Reinforced padlock holes
- Holds 6 guns and 21 mags (plus 6 more mags in magwells)
- TSA-compliant so that you can fly with it
- Foam inserts are customizable and removable
- It’s heavy when fully loaded
The Case Club 6 Pistol case is exactly what you need when you can’t decide which gun to bring to the range. The foam inserts are removable and customizable, so you can fit up to six different pistols and 21 magazines in this one case—plus six more mags if you put empty ones in each magwell. You can fly with this TSA-compliant case, and you can even ship it should the need arise. Case Club also offers a version with a built-in light if you think that feature would be helpful. Anyone who likes to bring two or more handguns to the range should consider this case. There are few like it.
Best Covert Case: Savior Equipment Pro Touring
- Designed to look like a tennis bag
- Available in black or blue
- Removable backpack straps
- Comes with a bunch of internal accessories
- Water-resistant exterior panels keep your pistols and gear inside dry
- Very nondescript; no one would ever know there’s a pistol (or multiple) in there
- Sometimes you can “gray man” too hard, and other gun people might recognize the case for what it truly is
Not all pistols look like a Glock or a Sig. Some have longer braces and barrels that won’t fit in a typical pistol case. This means you need something slightly bigger, and that you might not want to broadcast that you’re carrying a gun. That’s where the Savior Equipment Pro Tour case shines. Designed to look like a tennis case so that you can blend in anywhere, nobody will know you’re transporting a firearm.
Inside, you’ll find loop panels and adjustable lockdown straps to help you secure your pistols. It even comes with multiple mag holders and a pistol holder. Carry this case with ease using the handle or the removable backpack straps, and you’ll blend right in with the crowd. Just be sure no one asks what kind of racquet you use.
Things to Consider When Buying a Pistol Case
If you decide that your next purchase is going to be a pistol case for the range, here are some of the things you should think about before parting with your hard-earned money:
How are you planning on using the case? Do you need it to hold more than one gun? Do you need it to hold a bunch of other essentials? While there are plenty of options out there that fill both of those needs, there’s no reason to buy a case with a bunch of extra options or features that you’ll never use. Buy the kind of case you need and save the difference for ammo.
Price isn’t always indicative of quality. There are plenty of overpriced pieces of junk on the market, and there are equal numbers of underpriced overperformers. Figure out your budget and then focus on use and features. This will allow you to find exactly what you need at a price you can afford.
Q: What is the maximum range of a 9mm pistol?
The maximum effective range of a 9mm pistol is no more than 100 yards unless the shooter is an exceptionally well-trained marksman.
Q: What pistol holds 30 rounds?
While there are many so-called “high capacity” magazines that hold 30+ rounds, they’re not common. Instead, the most likely type of pistol that you will see capable of holding 30 rounds is an AR pistol. These pistols readily accept standard-capacity 30-round magazines.
Q: What is the safest pistol to carry loaded?
The safest pistol to carry loaded is one that you know very well and are experienced in both shooting and carrying. Therefore, it could be a five-shot Smith & Wesson revolver or a Glock 19 or a Sig P365. In this case, the level of safety regarding the gun is secondary; the level of safety you have as a shooter and a carrier with a particular gun is paramount.
Best Pistol Cases for the Range: Final Thoughts
It doesn’t matter if you’re buying your first pistol case or you have so many that you lost count. We’re not here to judge. In fact, I have a closet overflowing with them. So, when you’re ready to buy a new pistol case, check out one of these top options.
Why Trust Us
For more than 125 years, Field & Stream has been providing readers with honest and authentic coverage of outdoor gear. Our writers and editors eat, sleep, and breathe the outdoors, and that passion comes through in our product reviews. You can count on F&S to keep you up to date on the best new gear. And when we write about a product—whether it’s a bass lure or a backpack—we cover the good and the bad, so you know exactly what to expect before you decide to make a purchase.