Ok, so what do you need after you get a firearm? The market is certainly flooded with accessories, but what is really important? Today, I’m discussing cases for your handgun or long gun.
Regardless of what gun you own, it’s helpful to have a good way to transport it. Cases for long guns & handguns are either hard cases or soft cases. Hard cases have a rigid plastic or metal shell, typically lined with foam. Hard cases provide the most protection for your firearms but they are more bulky & awkward. Soft cases are padded nylon, canvas, fabric, or leather. They’re generally more convenient than hard cases. They may have extra pockets for tools & ammunition, and they may have multiple carrying straps for comfort.
However, be warned that some soft cases, like leather or cotton, may attract moisture from the air and hold it against your gun, causing rust. Synthetic materials are far less likely to cause problems but it’s not impossible. You should still keep them oiled and stored in a dry location. Invest in a dehumidifier if you live in a humid area.
A hard case is something like the MTM pistol case ($15) or Plano XLT pistol case ($33). If you want the nicest hard-case on the market, look at the Pelican cases, but be warned that they have a price to match. Alternatively, you can use a soft case like the LAPG pistol case ($10), 5.11 Tactical pistol case ($30), or Maxpedition pistol case ($35). I can personally vouch for the quality of the LAPG case, and I can also say that Maxpedition and 5.11 Tactical are both good brands.
Hard cases & soft cases are also available for long guns. I have several of the cheap, hard-plastic cases lined with foam similar to THIS ONE. They’re the basic minimum case but I’m not very pleased with them in general. At least they stand upright leaning in the closet.
Personally, I like soft rifle cases with backpack-style shoulder straps. I have a soft guitar case that I sometimes use to discreetly transport rifles and I’ve been thrilled by its backpack straps. It even has a small pouch on the outside that works to carry spare magazines or a pistol. Best of all, the guitar case only cost me $15 at a pawn shop and the foam was leftover scrap from a friend.
[insert pics of guitar case]
If you don’t feel like modifying a guitar case, check out the 5.11 COVRT M4 case. I generally believe that privacy is a good thing (and yet I run this blog …) and the fewer people who know what you own, the better. Obviously, ‘gun nuts’ and police will probably recognize the case but your average neighbor won’t know what’s in the bag.
You may have the option of using a smaller case for some rifles. For example, an AR-15 can be disassembled in to two halves for storage and transport. There are several companies that offer similar products but I bought a cheap Bulldog case from the NRA a while back. It’s a pretty good case although it would be better with some kind of straps to keep the parts from moving around inside.
One of the coolest cases on the market is sold by ThugCase.com. They use violin & viola shells to make custom gun cases in the style of the old mobsters who supposedly carried their Thompsons in violin cases.
The obvious disadvantage is that you have to disassemble the rifle every time you want to transport it. I prefer to keep my rifles in one piece. I already fiddle (hehe, bad violin pun) with my guns too much so it’s best if I don’t disassemble them any more than necessary.