Putting Four Gun Cases to the Test

Read this before you put your prized possession in the cargo hold on your next flight.

Traveling with a firearm can be nerve-racking. When that case disappears down the baggage chute at the airport, you cross your fingers and pray that the firearm will arrive at your destination intact. What is the best case to protect your gun from the unknown forces behind the curtain? I gathered four single-rifle cases and stowed my Remington 700 .270 in each to find out.

PELICAN 1750 ($185)
800-473-5422 • pelican.com

THE LOWDOWN Chosen by special military teams worldwide, the Pelican 1750 is now available in tan, a color that minimizes heat buildup. It has plenty of room for a raised scope, and you can drop it out of a boat and not worry.

HITS There was no damage to the case or to the gun, and my 700 was still dead on. Even driving over it in my Chevy Tahoe caused no problems. The Pelican is waterproof and dustproof and comes with a lifetime guarantee.

MISSES At 23 pounds, it was the heaviest of the cases tested, but it has wheels.

KALISPEL GC521004 ($200)
509-445-1121 • kalispelcaseline.com
**
THE LOWDOWN** This case is built so well that it cries out to be thrown. The Kalispel has a water-resistant gasket running the length of the interior aluminum lip, excellent welding, and first-rate hardware. The gun fit snugly and didn't move once the lid was closed. It rated second to the Pelican.

HITS My gun was undamaged by the tests and remained absolutely on target. Plus, it passed the truck test.

MISSES The case sustained a small dent on the corner during the shoulder drop test.

PLANO GUN GUARD 10101 DLX
($80) 888-707-7678 • planomolding.com

THE LOWDOWN Although this case may do well on a good day at the airport, you could have real trouble during a bad one. It's the lightest model here. The DLX is great for protecting a firearm in the back of your truck but not in a 737.

HITS Low price; neither the case nor the rifle sustained damage.

MISSES I would not chance driving my truck over this case, and the latches don't seem sturdy. The aluminum rim had an inch-long gap on one side, and the gun was off 10 inches at 100 yards.

CABELA'S BULLET PROOF ($180)
800-237-4444 • cabelas.com

THE LOWDOWN Except for the 45-degree welded corners, this looks similar to the Kalispel case. Made with solid hardware but lighter aluminum, it did not withstand being dropped on its end as well.

HITS The corners are trimmed to reduce bumps on the road. The locking bar will keep the latches from opening accidentally.

MISSES In the shoulder drop test, the corner dented much more severely than the Kalispel's did. One of the latches was so badly bent that I needed pliers to open it. Worse, the gun shifted, causing the case's inside lip to scratch and dent the scope caps. My gun was off by 8 inches at the range.

THE TEST
To simulate the abuse gun cases receive, I did five tests: (1) I stood each vertically against a wall and let it fall onto a cement floor; (2) I held each across my shoulder and let it plummet on its end to the concrete; (3) I held each at arm's length and dropped it three times; (4) I tossed each across the floor; and (5) I drove my truck over those cases that made it through the other tests. After all stages, I checked the cases and gun for damage, then fired the .270 to determine accuracy.
—P.B.M.