How to choose a gun case

Airgun shooter case

An aluminium hard case will offer solid protection while the gun is in transit

Protecting our treasured hardware is crucial, but which is the best one to use? Mark Camoccio offers a few pointers…

1. DEPTH

Choosing the right gun case is an important aspect of our sport, but we need different cases for different scenarios. One key consideration is the depth, especially when the rifle is fitted with a tactical-style scope with especially wide tactical turrets. The padding needs to be sufficiently thick and the case wide enough to provide proper cushioning from any knocks or bangs.

2. STORAGE & TRANSIT

I store my main competition rifle inside a case in a wardrobe – although one school of thought reckons egg shell-style foam from the case can react with the rifle’s bluing. I favour an aluminium hard case/flight case which is also used to carry the rifle in transit. Peace of mind is key and I know that once the gun is locked in place inside it is safe. True zero should be maintained and, in turn, my confidence.

airgun bag

Mark favours the ultra lightweight yet strong Bonart gun case during an HFT competition

3. DIMENSIONS

Whatever we purchase, it has to have sufficient room to protect the rifle and allow for its bulk with add-on accessories or a large scope in place. Yet another consideration is whether or not the case’s overall dimensions will fit in our vehicle. My hard case fits in the hold of my modest hatchback with a mere half inch to spare. So the golden rule is to double check what space you have to play with.

4. PORTABLE

HFT & FT BAGS Take a stroll along the firing line of any HFT course and you’d be forgiven for thinking that the military specification AIM drag bag is actually standard equipment issued to competitors. I’ve used one of these myself, and the quality and protection afforded by the AIM is beyond question. However, I find its intrinsic weight is perhaps too much. Admittedly I’m not as fit as I should be, but acknowledging this fact often makes sense. So I’ve now equipped myself with a slimline, ultra lightweight gun bag from Bonart which does all I want.

5. FEATURES

What are your requirements in a gun bag? The previously mentioned drag bag and tactical-style cases come with a variety of external and internal pockets which means that during a competition, for example, a bottle of water can be stuffed into one pocket, and pellets, silencer and gloves stowed elsewhere. The drag bag often has an internal pouch in which the butt of the gun sits along with additional buckles and restraining clips inside to prevent the gun moving around. That may be overkill for some, but will be an essential detail for others.

airgun bag AIM HFT

AIM drag bags are almost standard kit on the HFT competition circuit

6. STRENGTH

If you have an expensive rifle/scope combination it’s pretty foolhardy to carry it around in a dirt- cheap gun slip which may split at any moment, releasing your treasured cargo onto the concrete below. Carry handles are vital, and it pays to look for the strong, heavy duty webbing/canvas wrap-around style handles incorporating a sewn-in strap running right around the case. These are near impossible to break, and whether you’re a died-in-the-wool HFT nut or a hunter walking several miles across the field, peace of mind will
be assured.

7. WATERPROOFING

And so to one of the big mysteries of the shooting world – where are all the totally waterproof gun cases? In the absence of any obvious candidates I’ve gone to great lengths to wrap a Bonart case in waterproof material and glue up the seams. It’s a bit Heath Robinson but I’m hoping it will keep the elements at bay if I get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Alternatively, AIM sells a £20 plastic cover to protect its military spec case.

 

This article originally appeared in the issue 96 of Airgun Shooter magazine. For more great content like this, subscribe today at our secure online store www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk

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