When it comes to finding a bag capable of meeting your specific needs, there are a few areas you need to consider first. Let our gun bags buying guide help steer you in the right direction for this important purchase.
Bag or Case?
Of course, we need to address the main concern most gun owners have about this area of tactical gear. While many prefer a case for the added stability and protection it offers, cases can be rather bulky and heavy which makes them less ideal for traveling. If you are looking for a heavy-duty option for occasional travel, a case is a safe bet. If you are looking to travel on a regular basis with your firearms, a bag is usually a better option. However, you should keep in mind that most airlines require firearms to be in a hard-sided locked case when traveling by air. For everyday travel and trips to the range, a soft-sided bag is perfectly acceptable and actually preferred by most people.
Type of Bag
It is important to note that there are several types of gun bags to choose from and each one is suited to a particular set of needs. For instance, there are bags designed specifically for use with rifles versus bags designed for smaller handguns and pistols. A bag can be a shoulder bag or a backpack. A shoulder carry bag is great for frequent trips to the range to leave your hands free while a backpack gun bag is more commonly used by military professionals. The type of firearm you intend to store, as well as the firearm transport regulations in your state, can help you figure out which bag type is right for your situation. The key is to have a designated bag designed solely for the purposes of firearm storage and transport. Your firearm bag needs to be designed to house your weapon with details such as padding for support and a securing mechanism to hold the weapon in place so using any old bag you have on hand is not recommended.
When choosing this item, you want something that is durable and built to last. The key to finding a durable solution you can count on is in the type of materials used in the construction of the bag. Many bags are constructed from neoprene which is a durable material designed to be quick drying and lightweight for easy carrying. If you intend to use your bag outdoors, you may want to look into a waterproof bag which gives an added peace of mind for this important matter. Another material in the bag you need to consider is the foam. Any bag for your firearm should have high-quality foam in place to help protect the contents from sudden impacts or other accidents. When looking at this element, you want foam that is closed cell since it will offer the best results in terms of absorbing shocks and impacts.
Access and Organization
Aside from the overall quality of construction of the bag, you also need to consider factors such as access and organization. With bags for firearms, you should always be aware of limiting access to the firearms where applicable. For instance, choosing a bag which allows for some security measures to be put in place, such as the option for padlocks on the bag to limit outside access to your firearm, will ensure responsible ownership and ease of mind. Many gun owners overlook this matter of access or think of it as the “easier to access, the better”, but this is not the purpose of a gun bag for transport. If you are looking to have constant access to your firearm, you are better off with a holster than a gun bag. A gun bag is about safely transporting firearms from one location to another location without incident. For this matter, you definitely want to limit access rather than increase it.
Another matter to look at carefully when choosing your gun bag is the matter of organization. A gun bag, whether for trips to the range, hunting excursions, or professional travel with a firearm, should be designed to carry not just the firearm, but also the associated gear needed for use. While some people prefer to keep just the basics in their bag, such as the firearm and an extra magazine, others prefer to house their firearms, multiple magazines, cleaning kit, and any other related accessories they deem necessary all in one bag. Whether you prefer a light bag, or one filled with everything you might need, organizational elements are key. When looking at this aspect of a bag, consider the ease of access. Do you prefer zippered compartments ones with Velcro? How many pockets will you need to house the essentials? Are there separated areas within the inside of the bag to store extra magazines in a safe, secure manner? When looking at the bag, you should consider all the items you intend to store to determine if the bag is the right fit for your needs.