Have you ever used your scoped firearm during a hunt only to find you that your aim is off, missing your target completely? Or you notice a major scratch to your wooden gun stock or damage to the mechanics of the rifle / shotgun or pistol? Most if not all the aforementioned mishaps can be avoided or should I say greatly reduced by investing in a gun case either hard or soft.
In this post I just want to bring attention to the use of gun cases when transporting firearms to and from the field and I will attempt box it in the following format……
- Firearm mishaps
- The Need for Accuracy
- Gun case types
- Safely transporting firearms
- Case closed (conclusion)
a gun case protects as well as safely transports your firearms from home to field. But did you know the top issues or mishaps for NOT using a gun case when transporting your firearm?? Listed below are just a few that I have had the misfortune of happening to me as well as other hunters and marksmen and women……..
- Safety – its just good safety practice to use a gun case when transporting firearms
- Scope alignment (or lack there of) – “bumping” of your scope on a rifle or shotgun can knock it out of alignment
- Dust and grime – just plain old house dust and grime can build up in the chambers and barrel
- Nicks & Scratches – this can occur anywhere and anytime scratches to wooden stocks and barrels are common when transporting your favorite firearm to and from the field.
- Damaged sights and barrel tips – I have actually broken off my “BB” site on my shotgun by hitting against my truck door
I’m sure there are some other mishaps out there and you have any please share them……..
The Need for Accuracy
Outside of general safety practices the next issue when NOT using a gun case to transport your firearm is scope alignment nothing worse than setting your sights on that trophy buck only to shoot to high / low or altogether not even seeing where your projectile went! As an avid hunter this is paramount in my opinion since I do not want to ever wound an animal out of neglect on my part due to having the scope “bumped” during transport.
To take precautionary measures further I even shoot off a round or two the day prior to a hunt just to make double sure the scope is aligned that way I feel extra confident that where the cross hairs lie so shall the bullet follow. I would go onto add that I take extra care when retrieving the firearm to and from the case to the best of my ability, and should I accidentally bump it I will take time at the camp to realign / sight in the rifle again.
Gun Case Types
The gun cases I own and have used in the past are the following:
- Soft Sided – this type of case is usually lined with some sort of synthetic fleece with a canvas shell and a heavy-duty zipper as the enclosure mechanism. These cases do not provide maximum protection but are better than no case at all. They are lighter by nature due to the material they are manufactured from but are rarely water or moisture proof.
- Hard Shell Case (Plastic) – this is definitely a “step-up” from the soft sided version and with a plastic hard outer shell the level of protection is greatly increased. The version I have does not have precision cut out foam inserts but it does have two layers of foam that kinda of “squeeze” your firearm in place. And the plastic clips can secure the two halves of the gun case together and will stay shut even when in rough transport.
- Hard Shell Case (Aluminum) – this in my opinion is the most viable option albeit it is more expensive it will add yet another layer of protection to your firearm when moving your trusty hunting companion. Most versions of this type of gun case have precision cut inserted foam halves that form an exact outline of your firearm (or close to it) thereby eliminating a heck of a lot of movement should you drop your case when carrying it. Most of theses types are used to actually airfreight your firearm when making long distance hunting trips they have sturdy locking mechanisms for added safety.
Safely Transporting Firearms
Transporting firearms involves both legal and safe practices. Keep in mind that in addition to federal laws, there are regulations that vary from state to state.
- Always unload and case firearms before transporting them. In many states, this may be the law. The action should be open or the gun broken down, whichever makes the firearm safest if it’s mishandled.
- Firearms should not be displayed in window gun racks because the display may provoke anti-hunter sentiment and thieves!
- Lean a firearm against a secure rest only. A vehicle does not provide a secure resting place. A gun that falls over might accidentally discharge or be damaged.
I’m sure there are many other rules and regulations that I have omitted these are just a few of what comes to mind when I am in the field.
Case Closed! (conclusion)
In closing I suppose the main thread thru this article is safety at all costs! No matter how and when you use your firearm safety is the most prevalent state of mind not only for yourself but for the surrounding people during your day at camp or the field. I hope that I was able to shed a little light and some useful information on the subject of gun cases and firearm safety, so go out and enjoy the outdoors!