Airline approved rifle cases?

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by GaryO, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. GaryO

    GaryO AH Senior Member

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    I am looking for a case that is airline approved, fits 2 scoped rifle, around $150. What say you? I am also switching over to a duffle bag from suitcases; any suggestions?
     
  2. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Gary
    i went with at tuff-pack gun case...just put my rifles in a soft case and set them in the case and loaded other gear around it... i loaded up to 48.5 pounds to stay under the 50 pounds mark...rifles never moved and stayed on zero...put your scope toward the center of the case...make sure you get the case without the TSA lock...

    Duffel bag? i went with a semi soft bag...stiff on the bottom from fish pond...I put my hard shell case in the bag with my other items...it had dividers and was able to load it to 48.5 pounds...we went with many pounds of candy, gun and other items to give away...the bag has many strap closures and a zipper plus a tab lock...this configure allowed me to shrink my bag to what i had placed into it and had room to expand if i needed it...for the gifts you purchase on your return flight...

    A soft side airline bag is great for your camera, optics, book, to keep it lite...

    You will have trouble finding a good case for $150 for 2 rifles that will hold up i think you need to realistic and look at #300 mark... I have had the cheaper cases and still do for state side hunting driving trips and while they work with the new and improves baggage they do not hold up...
     
  3. TERMINATOR

    TERMINATOR AH Enthusiast

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    I have traveled all over the U.S. and to Africa with a 2 Scoped Rifle case from Bear Track

    Bear Track Cases

    I own the 925-1424 and the airlines have done their best to beat the he11 out of it but the rifles always arrived safe and on zero.

    Of course, this is a lot more than $150

    Because of back surgery I will be buying the version with wheels but at weight of 31# I would need to be carrying two pretty light rifles to stay under 50#s or just take one rifle. My .375 H&H is just under 10lbs so I would be limited to a rifle under 8lbs for a second gun or any two rifles under 9 lbs.

    The version I have is 26lbs and I can take any two rifles and still be under 50lbs.

    They are heavy and they are expensive but they litterly are bear and airline proof!
     
  4. linofva

    linofva New Member

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  5. Shakey

    Shakey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    I had a Pelican double rifle case (1750 if I remember correctly) for a while. 3 sheets of foam, trace the outline of your rifle and scope on middle sheet and cut it out. Gun(s) and scope(s) end up being completely surrounded by foam, but then that sheet of foam works only for that combination of guns and scopes. I didn’t particularly care for the latches because it looked like they could get snagged and opened fairly easily. I made two flights with it, and both times the latches were open when I claimed the case. The pad locks kept the case from opening all the way, but the seal around the lid was useless with it partially open.

    Dumped it and went with a Boyt hard case that works on the same concept (cut out the shape of your guns in middle sheet of foam). The latches on the Boyt resist incidental opening. This one also requires that you supply the pad locks (non-TSA locks only for firearms). I’ve flown twice with this case, and it stayed tightly closed both times. A little trick is to position the rifles such that the serial numbers are exposed when the case is opened. When the SAPS goes to match up your serial numbers with your paperwork, you can point to the numbers without digging the rifles out of the center sheet of foam. These cases are a bit heavy, so with two relatively heavy safari rifles, you’ll be pushing the 50 lb mark and other items will need to be carried in another bag.

    I’ve now switched to the Tuffpak. Many places you fly to require a soft case once you get there. With this one you can shove two rifles, in their soft cases, into the case. You can also shove shooting sticks, socks, underwear, …. Once you arrive, your soft cases are there are ready, not taking up space in another bag. As mentioned by James above, if you go this route, get the non-TSA locking model.

    Going with a duffel bag is a good idea. Until you actually weight a typical suitcase, you don’t realize how much of your weight limit is gone before the first sock gets packed. I use an Eagle Creek duffel (XL, 3 lbs), and it’s been to Singapore, Indonesia and the RSA and is still going strong. When we got back from the RSA, I went to grab it and realized it wasn’t mine. 2 more went by before mine came out. 4 identical bags on one flight. Anyhow, there are bunches of good duffels out there.

    As someone already pointed out, a good airline case for 2 rifles will probably set you back more than $150. Watch them bounce your case off the tarmac one time and you’ll be wishing you had a good case.
     
  6. TERMINATOR

    TERMINATOR AH Enthusiast

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    One time on a flight from MI to Colorado I was looking out the window and happen to see the baggage handler grab my rifle case from the luggage cart they tow out to the plane and do a discus toss style whirl to throw it up onto the conveyor that takes the baggage up unto the plane.

    He missed....and then stood there laughing with his buddy while my rifle case skidded across the tarmac. He KNEW it was a rifle case, probably an anti-hunter.

    Good news...because it was the Bear Track case the rifle was still on zero when I got out west and killed an Elk.

    I wrote Northwest Airlines and got an apology and a coupon for a free drink on my next flight...so they were not overly concerned about how their baggage handlers "handle" rifles.

    I do like the Tuffpack case that can take rifles in softcases and I am considering it.

    Once again, more than $150 but if you are going to fly with rifles a lot a good case is cheap insurance even though it seems pricey at first. If you just drive to where you hunt you can get any ole case you want.
     

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