Airline Armor: Field-Tested Gun Cases

Airline Armor: Field-Tested Gun Cases

Flying with a firearm is fraught with danger. From anti-gun gate agents to angry baggage handlers, you never know what your rifle is going to look like when you arrive. Luckily, these four cases provide no small measure of armor against abuse.


Negrini Deluxe Compact

Negrini Deluxe Compact

The Cadillac of cases, with a full microfiber interior that cradles fine guns with a touch of class. Hook-and-loop tape secures everything in place, and separate compartments keep the bolt and small accessories close. The impact-resistant ABS exterior is tough, but it may show wear quickly. Three combination latches are nice, but we’d like to see lock hasps added as well. MSRP: $499; negrinicases.com

  • Pros: Soft interior, no lost keys
  • Cons: Limited to 24-inch barrel lengths

Cabela’s Armor Extreme

Cabela’s Armor Extreme

As far as injection-molded poly cases go, this one is as tough as they come, living up to military/LE standards. A surrounding O-ring seals out moisture and the finest of African dirt. The egg-crate foam interior doesn’t need to be cut to accommodate most long guns. Four rotating latches secure the lid closed, and two hasps accommodate long-shackle padlocks. MSRP: $120; cabelas.com

  • Pros: Fully weatherproof
  • Cons: Heavy for a poly case

Americase AT-5412HW

Americase AT-5412HW

Luggage handlers couldn’t crush the aluminum exterior of this single rifle case if they tried. Both hard and soft foam options come with the case, allowing you to choose to use either a compression foam or a hard layer that can be cut to fit your exact firearm. Large twist latches keep the lid closed, and two large eyelets for padlocks keep prying hands out. MSRP: $200; americase.com


  • Pros: Tough aluminum shell
  • Cons: Heavy

Pelican Vault

Pelican Vault

From the oversized, injection-molded shell to the four heavy-duty latches, this case is a beast. Short of a torch and Sawzall, no one is getting to the goods inside. It even has four hasps for padlocks. Plenty of interior space for a gun and smaller accessories, leaving more capacity in your checked bag. Five layers of compression foam keep guns and gear from shifting. MSRP: $150; pelican.com

  • Pros: Virtually bombproof
  • Cons: Beefy exterior dimensions
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