Jonathan Young explains how the internal straps inside an airgun bag work, and whether you need to use them
Q. I’ve just bought a new gun bag and it’s full of internal nylon straps. Do I need to use them, and will they take the finish off my rifle?
A. The internal straps certainly keep your rifle nice and secure, ensuring it won’t slide around inside the bag. Strapping up your rifle is a great idea if you are going to be taking your rifle on a long journey to a shoot, during which the bag may be upended or even tipped upside down. Some bags also come with shoulder straps so the bag can be carried like a backpack; again, this is a good time to use the internal straps, as they will prevent the gun from shifting inside the bag.
There are a couple potential drawbacks to using the internal straps – the first being the time it takes to strap up the gun for transit, then unstrap it before you can use it. If your bag is going to be carried upright from your house to your car, then taken out and opened up as soon as you arrive at your shoot, you might be better off removing the straps.
Will the straps and their buckles take the finish off your gun or scope? I’ve never known this to happen, but I suppose it’s possible. If you’re worried about this, you could always pad the straps by cutting the toe end off some old socks and threading them over the straps. Just be prepared for a little mickey-taking if your friends take a peek inside your bag!