Gun Case - Have I outsmarted myself?

Hogpatrol

Silver supporter
AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 13, 2013
Messages
6,344
Reaction score
14,664
Location
Delaware, USA
Media
76
Articles
4
Member of
Atglen Sportsmen's Club, NRA ,SCCFSA,
Hunted
RSA, DE, NJ, PA, KS, TX, ME
I'm not sure of that with regard to thieves. I say that as someone who has had firearms stolen in a break-in.

From my discussions with law enforcement, firearms are like cash. A sheriff's deputy in charge of returning stolen goods told me when I had some of my guns returned that he knew of firearms that had switched hands a dozen times within 24 hours.

Of course, thieving airline or airport employees may be a different sort of thief.
Was the LEO speaking of handguns? There was a burglary in my area where handguns were stolen and within 24 hours used in a crime in an adjacent state. I can see handguns being resold, but long guns are another story. They go missing in airports.
 

jpr9954

AH veteran
Joined
Feb 16, 2021
Messages
141
Reaction score
281
Location
North Carolina
Website
www.onlygunsandmoney.com
Member of
NRA, SAF
Was the LEO speaking of handguns? There was a burglary in my area where handguns were stolen and within 24 hours used in a crime in an adjacent state. I can see handguns being resold, but long guns are another story. They go missing in airports.
He was speaking of all guns. I had more long guns stolen than handguns.
 

Ike85123

AH fanatic
Joined
Mar 21, 2021
Messages
746
Reaction score
1,441
Location
Arizona, USA
Media
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
None
My uncle did alot of travel back and forth to rsa. He had a hard case for golf clubs. Said McGregor or maybe Wilson, been awhile dont remember the brand. He would put his rifles and fishing poles in soft bags and put them in it. Then carry scopes snd reels in his carry on bag
 

JimP

AH legend
Joined
Dec 14, 2014
Messages
2,385
Reaction score
3,377
Location
Gypsum, Co
Media
46
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
3
Member of
NRA, RMEF
Hunted
US (Utah, Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada. Canada (British Colombia), South Africa (Eastern Cape)
If a thief is going to steal something they will take the whole case. They won't care what kind of stickers are on the outside of it, they'll just figure that whatever is inside is valuable. They won't mess around getting it open and looking, they will just grab it and go.
 

Ike85123

AH fanatic
Joined
Mar 21, 2021
Messages
746
Reaction score
1,441
Location
Arizona, USA
Media
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
None
If u did use a sticker. Get a big support local law enforcement sticker. Might possibly make them think twice about whos bag they are stealing. Lol
 

BeeMaa

AH legend
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
3,064
Reaction score
5,379
Location
Alexandria, VA USA
Media
104
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life Member, SCI
Hunted
Eastern US & RSA
I just picked up a used Tuffpak in an auction in anticipation of going to Africa in the next couple of years. I do like the idea of disguising the contents with stickers (even if the airlines screw that up with their own firearm stickers).

I was thinking about putting some golfing stickers such as USGA or the like on it. Alternatively, is there a cover that can go over the Tuffpak 1050 like you see for some golf bags? Or would the Tuffpak fit in the old US Army duffle bag?
The Pelican 1750 and 1700 are the signature long gun cases and frankly they look like a long gun case. IMO - You would be better to make your bag look unlike a firearm travel case. The TuffPak case already does that as much as it can, your job is done. Putting golf or camera equipment stickers on it only attracts unnecessary attention. Don't overthink it. Hundreds of people travel with firearms in the Pelican cases (including my wife and I) that look like firearms cases and everything turns out just fine.

If you want to keep your firearms safe in your home, get a quality vault...not a TuffPak.
 

MMAL

Gold supporter
AH fanatic
Joined
Jan 5, 2016
Messages
624
Reaction score
1,088
Location
New Jersey
Media
52
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Hunted
New Jersey, New York, Wyoming, Colorado, Mexico, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Northwest Territories, Newfoundland, Namibia
The easiest way to cut foam for any case is to use your electric turkey knife. I place my guns and equipment on foam mark with a sharpie and then cut with the two blade turkey knife. If goes right through it and I leaves a clean cut.
 

AB2506

AH enthusiast
Joined
Aug 16, 2014
Messages
473
Reaction score
366
Location
Calgary, AB Canada
Media
16
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
4
Member of
SCI, AFGA, AHEIA
Hunted
Alberta, Florida, Eastern Cape of South Africa
I just picked up a used Tuffpak in an auction in anticipation of going to Africa in the next couple of years. I do like the idea of disguising the contents with stickers (even if the airlines screw that up with their own firearm stickers).

I was thinking about putting some golfing stickers such as USGA or the like on it. Alternatively, is there a cover that can go over the Tuffpak 1050 like you see for some golf bags? Or would the Tuffpak fit in the old US Army duffle bag?
The TuffPak has a fairly rough pebbled surface. I have found that it is not a good surface for stickers/tape. I have tried to tape my Netherlands permit to the exterior when I travel to the RSA (coming and going - twice) sometimes the permit is barely hanging on when i arrive, or it is gone. Was it removed in Amsterdam as I anticipated, or did it fall off? Clear packing tape just does not stick well.

I have used the TuffPak exclusively on my two trips. I had my single Kimber Montana 300WSM/Leupold VX 3 2.5-8x36 in Talley LW mounts in a padded Plano soft case I bought from Walmart. No issues, barely any adjustment to the scope required. Around the rifle case I pack my hunting clothes and binocluars, rangefinder in their cases. I also pack my walking sticks and any belts/pouches I will wear well hunting. I purchased the cordura bag that TuffPak sells. The bag keeps everything together so that it comes out/goes in, in one piece when the police ask me to show them the rifle and check the permit prearranged through Air 2000 (their services are well worth the money in my opinion).

I am very happy with the TuffPak which i bought at a local SCI auction. Because I have to use a CPAP and have several medications to help me to deal with my neurological pain, a large chunk of my luggage is devoted to those items. The TuffPak not only protects my rifle, but it allows me more luggage space than the Pelican 1700/1750 would allow. I could fit a second rifle in there if I had to.

The padded Plano rifle case would not fit well in a Pelican and most outfitters like you to use a soft case anyways well hunting.

No one has ever walked up to me and said, "Oh, I see you are travelling with a rifle." Like some have said, I think people assume they are golf clubs, musical instruments, survey transits or camera equipment.

Use with confidence.
 

BigSteve57

AH enthusiast
Joined
Sep 10, 2013
Messages
460
Reaction score
569
Location
MD USA, sadly.
Media
36
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SCI, NRA, Local gun clubs & shooting range.
Hunted
USA(GA,MD,MT,PA,TN), Namibia
The last time I flew with my rifle was on American Airlines from Baltimore MD to Bozeman, MT. American put a big red sticker on the case just after I checked it. So much for not drawing attention to your bags.
 

Bert the Turtle

AH fanatic
Joined
May 29, 2010
Messages
853
Reaction score
1,088
Media
4
I think disguising is basically a waste of time. As others have mentioned, it’s going to be labeled. A gun doesn’t end up on the general carousel where a random person can grab it. If a baggage handler with thievery in his heart wants to steal something, he’s better off nabbing a series of small things from unlocked bags- stuff the owner isn’t even going to notice until he gets to wherever he opens his bags at which point it’s more trouble than it’s worth to report. The authorities are going to be keeping fairly tight tabs on guns and it’s not all that easy to throw a rifle in your backpack to take home at shift change. Pack the rifle to protect it against the inevitable rough handling, put it on the plane with the other 100 or more that pass through the system every day, and enjoy the trip.
 

Hogpatrol

Silver supporter
AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 13, 2013
Messages
6,344
Reaction score
14,664
Location
Delaware, USA
Media
76
Articles
4
Member of
Atglen Sportsmen's Club, NRA ,SCCFSA,
Hunted
RSA, DE, NJ, PA, KS, TX, ME
@Bert the Turtle, No offense but I take it you've never flown out of Philly with guns. You better have another person at the carousel because half the time, that's where you'll retrieve them. The worst part is you'll have to muscle your way between the people crowding around it. The airport doesn't get it's low rating for nothing.
 

BigSteve57

AH enthusiast
Joined
Sep 10, 2013
Messages
460
Reaction score
569
Location
MD USA, sadly.
Media
36
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SCI, NRA, Local gun clubs & shooting range.
Hunted
USA(GA,MD,MT,PA,TN), Namibia
@Bert the Turtle, No offense but I take it you've never flown out of Philly with guns. You better have another person at the carousel because half the time, that's where you'll retrieve them. The worst part is you'll have to muscle your way between the people crowding around it. The airport doesn't get it's low rating for nothing.
My experience has been the case usually comes out on the baggage carousel.
But this varies with the airport. For example, recently:
  • Baltimore, MD: I was told to go to the airline baggage office and wait for an airline baggage agent who brought me my gun case.
  • Bozeman, MT: case came out on the regular baggage chute.
  • Dulles, VA: returning from Africa, cases came out on a chute for oversized baggage located across the room in a dimly lit area. We waited and waited by the regular carousel and then in a panic reported the cases missing. It was only then that we shown where to pick them up. Our cases sat unattended for approx. an hour before we got to them.
 

Hogpatrol

Silver supporter
AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 13, 2013
Messages
6,344
Reaction score
14,664
Location
Delaware, USA
Media
76
Articles
4
Member of
Atglen Sportsmen's Club, NRA ,SCCFSA,
Hunted
RSA, DE, NJ, PA, KS, TX, ME
My experience has been the case usually comes out on the baggage carousel.
But this varies with the airport. For example, recently:
  • Baltimore, MD: I was told to go to the airline baggage office and wait for an airline baggage agent who brought me my gun case.
  • Bozeman, MT: case came out on the regular baggage chute.
  • Dulles, VA: returning from Africa, cases came out on a chute for oversized baggage located across the room in a dimly lit area. We waited and waited by the regular carousel and then in a panic reported the cases missing. It was only then that we shown where to pick them up. Our cases sat unattended for approx. an hour before we got to them.
Had the same experience at Dulles but just happened to be wandering around and spotted them at that very same place. Probably sat there for fifteen minutes. Philly is bad though, if you're not super vigilant, someone could pick them up and walk out the door.
 

Edster

AH veteran
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
220
Reaction score
286
Location
Maine
Media
26
@Bert the Turtle, No offense but I take it you've never flown out of Philly with guns. You better have another person at the carousel because half the time, that's where you'll retrieve them. The worst part is you'll have to muscle your way between the people crowding around it. The airport doesn't get it's low rating for nothing.

This was my exact experience on our way home two weeks ago. We come thru customs and into the baggage carousels. I look down to the end and my gun case is laying on the floor. My buddies case is on a dolly with a Qatar Airlines rep. I have a Tuffpak so I guess they didn’t bother to look for a red tag.
 

jdemocko

AH member
Joined
Mar 11, 2009
Messages
45
Reaction score
65
Location
NC
Media
2
Member of
NRA, Rocky Mt Elk Foundation
Hunted
Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Australia, Canada
Just flew last week with 2 shotguns from NC to Nebraska. I use a plain Tuffpak and the ticket agents assumed I was going golfing until I told them there were guns in the case. Delta is a PIA but Southwest was much easier to deal with.
 

rookhawk

AH legend
Joined
Mar 4, 2015
Messages
3,545
Reaction score
5,207
Location
North America
Media
143
Articles
2
Member of
NRA Life Benefactor, Trout Unlimited, Safari Club International
So, after reading multiple threads regarding taking gun cases through hotel lobbies, anti-hunting employees at airports, etc.....I started thinking, which is normally counterproductive .

I recently acquired an Americase 2 Gun Case (special thanks to @CAustin for guidance). It is similar to the Tuff Pak from the standpoint that it doesn’t overtly appear to be a gun case. Not as discreet as the Tuff Pak, but doesn’t “scream” firearm.

One could further “disguise” this case with simple labels. I haven’t put them on, but the photo shows my concept. I have mixed feelings on this, as “pricey equipment” could perhaps be more of a theft target than a firearm (easier to sell?).

Therefore, asking the opinion of the Learned Experts here on the forum. Good or bad idea?

View attachment 312315

Great case. I use the three gun version. The gun case fools the average idiot in the American airports, no need to put labels on it. They don't think that hard to guess what's in it, they assume surveyors gear or something else. In Africa, you're not fooling anyone, they all know its rifles and as such, they grab them and bring them out to you when you get off the plan. You don't need to worry about the African's stealing your guns anyway, you are just trying to use a case that doesn't tip of the American's that its guns. The Americans aren't going to steal the guns either, they are going to damage them to make a political statement.

The reasons I can think that you would not want to put labels on it that say laser equipment.

1.) You might get the items seized as laser equipment is regulated. If they're curious and run it through an x-ray, then they'll assume night-vision or other ITAR goods and DEFINITELY seize the guns.

2.) The authorities, particularly in the middle east and Africa won't find it amusing that you are putting labels like that on your guns. They automatically think you are a criminal smuggling guns...that's how their suspicious mind works. They cannot fathom that you're just trying to prevent damage or theft.

Don't sweat it. After you fly with it a few times those cases get scratched to hell and gouged up. They look pretty grimey. When they do, they look like band equipment and nobody thinks that's a gun case outside Africa.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
37,720
Messages
721,639
Members
67,512
Latest member
TommiePipp
 

 

 

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

pam308 wrote on TOBY458's profile.
Just saw your listing for a winchester 70 458. Is it still for sale? I want it!!! pam308
flatwater bill wrote on john stroud's profile.
Leopard Legend....................Hi John.............I see that you have not visited AH in awhile. Hope all is well. I am looking for a hunt in Namibia..............would like to ask a few questions about your hunt.............all the best..............................Bill
Cervus elaphus wrote on Bob Nelson 35Whelen's profile.
Hi Bob, how's things going in Wyong?. Down your way a couple of years back but haven't been in NSW since Ebor for the fishing. just getting over some nasty storms up here in Qld, seeing the sun for the first time in a few days. I'm going to NZ in the spring and hope to clean up a few buns while there and perhaps shake the spiders out of my old .303LE (currently owned by my BIL). Cheers Brian
A couple pictures of the sable i chased for miles in Mozambique, Coutada 9!! We finally caught up to him and I had the trophy of a lifetime. Mokore Safaris, Doug Duckworth PH
sable Coutada 9.JPG
sable 2 - Coutada 9.JPG
Safari Dave wrote on egrmpty507's profile.
Did you purchase your hunt at a US SCI fundraiser?
 
Top