Question for Tuffpak Users - How to Pack Right

Discussion in 'Hunting Equipment, Gear & Optics' started by gxsr-sarge, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. gxsr-sarge

    gxsr-sarge AH Veteran

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    I'm doing some weight testing with my rifles in anticipation of a hunt in the Zambezi Valley this April. I'll be taking a scoped rifle and a double rifle.

    I bought the Tuffpak along with the duffel bag. Thus far, just both rifles in their respective soft cases come in at about 46-ish pounds. The "soft" cases that I'd like to take aren't the lightest in the world and are fairly rugged. I need to think of also protecting the rifles when they are bouncing in the back rack of the truck all day. In addition to the rifles, I still need to add my shooting sticks and this will get it right up to about 50. I'm concerned that if I don't pack enough clothes, gear, etc. to fill out the space in order to avoid exceeding the 50# limit, there will be too much room inside of the case.

    I'm thinking of wrapping the rifles in a sheet of foam (like the ones in the Pelican 1750) and then inserting that "rifle burrito" into the duffel. The foam is light and takes up space.

    Does anyone have any useful and tested tips for packing two rifles into a Tuffpak?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    gxrs

    the tuff pak weighs 17.5 pounds.
    your 2 rifles at 19.0 pounds

    17.5 + 19.0 = 36.5 pounds.

    My rifle Soft cases weigh about 3 pounds each and protect the rifle in the truck.

    Now that take you to 36.5 + 6 + 42.5 pounds.

    At the bottom, of the case i put my backpack. 2 pounds

    Spare camp shoes - 1 to 2.5 pounds this depend on what i take

    Riffles in the case barrel down and put my light jacket in a plastic grocery bag to add bulk and hold the rifles from moving. 1.5 pounds
    This leaves room for one more bag if needed at 1 pound, 2 shirts or 1 shirt and 2 pr socks.

    42.5 + 2 + 2.5 + 1.5 = 48.5 pounds and i have never had my stuff beat up.

    I always hit the airport at 49 to 49.5 pounds. with my Tuff pack.

    At your rifle inspection the top comes off and you un zip your soft bag and pull the rifles out one at a time. i never pull the soft case from the tuff pak.
    Bolts are removed and placed in soft side case pouch.

    Shooting sticks all you have to do is tape it to one of your gun cases so it does not mover around. I like to tie things together to keep them in place.
     
  3. mstewart44

    mstewart44 AH Senior Member

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    I agree w James' advice & I do essentially the same thing. As I read your post, I was thinking of suggesting foam, like "egg crate" mattress material you would put on top of a mattress or your heavy jacket, but this has already been covered. I have some foam at the bottom of my case. I can pack three scoped rifles in their soft case and never have an issue w being over weight.

    Good luck!!
     
  4. Just Passing Through

    Just Passing Through AH Senior Member

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    I had a very similar problem with weight. After the cased rifles and the duffle bag that fits the Tuffpak, the weight was getting close. I placed a piece of dense foam (that I had cut to the shape of the end of the case) on the bottom end of the case to protect the muzzles, and packed a couple of fleece jackets inside to keep everything from shifting too much. TSA at Dulles pulled everything out and very carefully examined the jackets and soft cases (just in case I was smuggling diamonds!). The TSA guys were very sloppy putting everything back in the case, but it was good enough. The weight was around 48.5 lbs on my luggage scales, so I left the sticks at home and used the ones supplied by the PH. The ticket counter weight of the case was slightly over 49 lbs.
     
  5. gxsr-sarge

    gxsr-sarge AH Veteran

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    Thanks for all of your responses.

    I was thinking of using some spare foam that I had for a Pelican 1750 but I like the egg crate bedding/foam idea better. It's probably more efficient (protects just as much yet lighter). I also hadn't thought of lining the bottom as well.

    I'll probably put a piece of the foam in between the rifle cases and then wrap them both in the foam. I'll use a bungee cord to keep it together. I'll then insert that into the duffel and then the who thing into the case. I'll give it a few dry runs b/c I'm thinking that it'll be a pain to undo at every stop.
     
  6. mstewart44

    mstewart44 AH Senior Member

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    Bubble wrap is another way to protect the guns and keep weight down. I would also suggest keeping the guns separate from the sack and put the guns in barrel first. When you arrive for inspection, you just unzip the stock end of your soft case, pull the gun out for serial number inspection, and slide it back in. This is also another reason you want a dense foam at the bottom on the bottom of your case, to protect the barrel of the gun.
     
  7. gxsr-sarge

    gxsr-sarge AH Veteran

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    Hmmmm, I guess if I'm only taking the two gun cases and maybe the shooting sticks, what's the point of the duffle bag? Perhaps I should just wrap the two gun cases and the shooting sticks with foam and then just slide that whole thing into the case so that its fairly tight. For inspection, I'll just do as you suggest and slide the gun out of the case by the stock - the gun case should remain snug inside the case. I'll try it and report back. Thanks!!
     
  8. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I too use a tuffpak, and you never know how they will react at TSA and the teicket counter. I have had them simply x-ray the thing and I have had them pull everything out. The good news is they really work well, and have never seen a gun damaged. I have twice seen regular metal cases badly battered. Both had come out of or through Atlanta and looked like someone had jumped up and down on them.
     
  9. VonJager

    VonJager AH Senior Member

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    Maybe this is a dumb question but why barrel down?

    I used a tuffpak with 2 rifles barrel up in soft cases, sticks and a few light items. It came to 48 pounds.
     
  10. Just Passing Through

    Just Passing Through AH Senior Member

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    I had two reasons: 1) the rifles could be removed for inspection without taking the entire soft case out, and 2) basic gun safety as to where the rifle was pointed.
     
  11. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Like the logic.
     
  12. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I agree 100 percent, I would have bought a tuffpak, if I was starting over with no hunting gear.
     

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