When you get a great rifle, the shopping isn’t over. A bag is a near-necessary accessory to transport the firearm and related gear, or to keep it clean, or to make the presence of a long gun a bit discreet. I recently tested two just such rifle bags, one for AR-platform rifles and another best suited for longer-barreled models. Here’s the scoop:
It’s rifle bag time
Defcon Gear makes an AR/M4 bag that’s both compact and urban-friendly. The Compact Assault Bag (CAB) is made to carry the upper and lower in separate compartments, making the whole works fit into a package that’s 26.5 inches long and 9.5 inches wide.
It can be carried three ways: horizontally using the padded handle, over the shoulder with the padded, ventilated strap that has optional connection points at each of the four corners, or vertically with a web handle attached to one end. The D-rings of the shoulder strap double as a place to attach a carabiner as it hangs in my closet, keeping it compact even in storage.
The bag unzips and can be laid flat to expose two padded pockets inside. Slide the upper into one pocket, the lower into another, even leaving a sling attached if you like, and zip it all around. On the outside, two more zippered pockets occupy the exterior surface. They’re subdivided inside, custom made for carrying a bevy of extra mags.
Construction is similar to that of office luggage; a medium-weight nylon with black, mid-weight zippers. It’s not built for rough duty; it’s built to blend into an urban environment, and it does that well.
What a great accessory for environments unfriendly to guns. The CAB lets you tote a small or disassembled rifle anywhere, looking like shouldered sports equipment or office presentation gear. It’s sold only in black, which adds to the office-y look. A wide, padded shoulder strap is included for easy carry.
For those with little space in the car or truck, the CAB makes hauling an AR much easier, and less inviting to thieves than a full-length case. Retail is only direct from Defcon Gear at a reasonable $39.99.
Propper serves up one for the long guns
Tactical gear manufacturer Propper makes two similar rifle cases, 36 and 42 inches in length, and 12.5 inches wide. We tested the shorter one, in coyote with contrasting orange trim. It’s also offered in black and olive.
Guns are well protected in this polyester case, which is heavily padded on all sides including a padded rail around the edges. The main compartment zippers have nifty grab tabs that are gross-motor operated, and unlike plain paracord toggles, won’t come off with normal use. Slash corners and wide Velcro straps on the interior serve keep the rifle relatively centered and optimally protected.
Across the exterior front are three large pockets. Matching ones on each end there are slotted openings with hook and loop closures that are the perfect height for keeping 30-round magazines organized. These pockets are covered in MOLLE, increasing storage options on this simple bag.
The middle front pocket has both a hook and loop and handsome buckle flap. A panel of loop material on the flap allows room for patches.
Like the Defcon CAB, this bag has a convertible, padded, adjustable shoulder strap, plus web handles for vertical or horizontal carry.
While bright orange may seem a bit out of the ordinary for range gear, Propper keeps it classy, placing a narrow accent strip of orange on the front middle pocket flap only. Inside, the orange lining enhances visibility and makes it easy to find little parts that inevitably wind up floating around inside the bag. It’s a modern, understated look, suitable for hunters or tactical types.
This is a simple design for single-rifle carry, and looks great for professional or recreational use. At $69.99 for the 36-inch model, it’s priced a bit below more feature-laden or two-rifle bags. Propper rifle cases would make a handsome gift or award as well as a good choice to protect your own rifle in transit.