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 Post subject: Cases for Airline Travel: Which of these 3?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:32 pm 
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Location: Renton, WA
I have decided to begin traveling the US for a few sporting clay tournaments each year and this site has been a wealth of info on airline travel with shotguns. I've flown with a gun a couple of times for hunting but with guns that are easily replaceable (no custom stock, time to order/build, etc.).

My Kolar Max Lite came with a Negrini case, but after reading posts it appears that many feel this is not enough protection for air travel. So my question is do I stick with this case or go with either a Tuffpak or Pelican case. I've really narrowed it down to one of these 3 for my needs. In this price range, I am more concerned with protection and ease of travel vs. cost.

My need for traveling: I plan to bring my 2 barrel set (32") and a full set of subgauge tubes. Depending on the tournament, I may also bring a pump or SxS but this is more nice to have if they don't have super sporting or fitasc side events.



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 Post subject: Re: Cases for Airline Travel: Which of these 3?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:38 pm 
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Brad (ysr) can address the Tuff-pack. IIRC, he uses one and the one thing I kept seeing was how it doesn't look like a gun case. I believe you place your gun in a padded soft case and then surround it with clothes, etc. to provide extra padding during transport.

Pelican makes the cases the US military likes, and they can do the job, but it is also pretty evident what that case holds (if that's a concern to you) unless you get one similar to the Americase that fits in the bottom half of a large duffle. I think in either event with Pelican, you'll be paying extra for oversized baggage.

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 Post subject: Re: Cases for Airline Travel: Which of these 3?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:09 pm 
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I have two Pelican's for travel, the 1700 and slightly larger 1720 -- I've never paid an oversize charge for even the larger one. I like the concept of the Tuffpack since it looks like a set of golf clubs, however I've been told by TSA rep that the tubular style single lock they use in combination with the webbing strap to "lock" it up, is not considered adequate for firearms. I like Negrinis for local shoots, but would not fly with my nicer guns them, simply not enough protection.

PS: the 1700 pelican will fit crossways flat in a compact rental car trunk, the 1720 needs a full size trunk or has to be angled in a compact trunk -- FWIW :)

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 Post subject: Re: Cases for Airline Travel: Which of these 3?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2016 6:37 pm
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Location: Nassau County, NY
I haven't flown yet so take this with a grain of salt:

Negrini not enough protection. I have one and it's great for the car but I think the TSA apparatus would wreck it eventually.

Tuff pack: no personal experience with it but I'd be concerned about things banging around in it. Advantage is you have your breakdown case(s) to travel with locally and it doesn't scream "I'm traveling with a gun (or music keyboard)"

Pelican: I have several that I use for camera gear. Bombproof and you can customize the innards and buy replacement foam depending on what you're carrying. I think you could also remove the foam entirely and pack it with your Negrini and other things, so you still have the smaller case when you get to your destination. Cabellas, Field and Stream etc sell them, so they are easy to check out in person. I would not want to haul it around the neighborhood on a regular basis.

If I were going to fly tomorrow, I'd measure my Negrini to make sure it fit in a Pelican without the foam....then remove the foam, add the Negrini plus my vest etc and be done with it. When I arrived, I'd take out the Negrini and drive to the range.

Note that Pelican has two lines, one submersible the other not. Unless you're going to BUD/s training you probably don't need the one that can be submerged!

{edit: just realized I have a Tuffpack tripod case much like a golf club case. Sturdy construction. HEAVY when loaded. Size can be awkward in smaller vehicles. Must get a wheeled version! }

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 Post subject: Re: Cases for Airline Travel: Which of these 3?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:47 pm 
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Location: Renton, WA
Thanks all, I was leaning Tuffpak given the flexibility and I have several takedown cases I could drop in it. Now I am leaning to the Pelican.

JB, I don't have a dealer near me so would you think a receiver/stock, 2 barrels and a set of sub gauge tubes would fit in the 1700 or should I go to the 1720. Looking at pics on the web, it seems the 1720 is more what I need. The other option is to put the tubes in my dufflel in their soft case. I could use some PVC to give them a little more protection plus clothing.

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 Post subject: Cases for Airline Travel: Which of these 3?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:47 pm 
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(Removed double post)

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 Post subject: Re: Cases for Airline Travel: Which of these 3?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:26 am 
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I use this "PSA Breakdown case" case from Pacific Sporting inside my Pelican 1700 -- note there are 30" and 32" sizes, the 32" will hold 32" tubes/barrels with extended chokes: http://www.goestores.com/catalog.aspx?M ... tID=278378. It has a main compartment for receiver and 2 barrels (I use these for my shootable 12 and carrier with one tubeset installed) and then 2 long outer sleeves. The kit includes 2 sets of plastic tube holders for the other 2 gauges, and these fit in one of the long sleeve pockets. They make a padded barrel slip that could carry a 3rd barrel in the remaining long outer slip pocket. On the flip side of the case there's a long divided zip pocket that can hold chokes, bore-snakes and tube hammer and punch tools.

This case nests easily in the Pelican -- there are 3 layers of foam in the Pelicans, I pull the 2 bottom layers, put rain pants and rain parka in the bottom as some added padding, then put the padded PSA case on top of those. There is still room along the sides to squeeze in more tools, pouch, oil, insect repellant etc. I lay my vest and padded long slip case used while shooting folded in half on top of that, and close it up. Note that I can fit another receiver in my folded long padded shooting slip and still close the case with the top layer of foam in -- thus I can actually carry 2 complete shootable 12's, my carrier and all tubes, parka, pants, vest, tools and padded long slip in side the Pellican 1700 with that PSA breakdown case and my regular long padded shooting slip.

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 Post subject: Re: Cases for Airline Travel: Which of these 3?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:29 pm 
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I was told by the American Airlines rep that any long gun case had to have a good lock and be no more than 62 inches when you add up all the measurements together.

I have been to Argentina many times and on every trip I have always seen a number of gun cases that did not fit the measurement requirement and they never have been hit with an oversize baggage charge. But with my luck I just bought an Americase that holds my two guns (12 and 28) and is less than 62 inches total dimensions.

If you take two guns and all the equipment for them you also have to be careful not to exceed the 50 pound weight limit.


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 Post subject: Re: Cases for Airline Travel: Which of these 3?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:46 pm 
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Americase AT transport case looks to hold a standard O/U inside. Not sure if it'll hold all you want to carry.


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 Post subject: Re: Cases for Airline Travel: Which of these 3?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:28 pm 
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I have the Pelican case, and it's over 20 years old. Been literally all over North America carrying my guns and some work equipment.

If I were buying, I find the appropriate takedown version and go forward without fear. In many rentals the full length case won't fit in the trunk.

I have a SKB quad gun, and it's been good, but is way oversized for shotgunning. Too many rentals where I had to get a SUV and run with the seats down.

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 Post subject: Re: Cases for Airline Travel: Which of these 3?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:03 pm 
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Location: Renton, WA
Thanks everyone for the advice. Here is where I landed.

For my immediate needs and many of my trips, I will just need my Kolar 2 barrel set w/ tubes so I went with the Pelican 1700. I will travel with my other guns (and friends with guns), so the TuffPak is definitely on my shortlist of gun related purchases.

I received the 1700 and my soft takedown case fit it nicely. I will use the foam to make this all work as well, but that will take some creativity (e.g. put the tubes in the bottom foam inside PVC).

However, much to my surprise, my Kolar Negrini case fits perfectly into the 1700 and the combo is 41lbs with accessories. There is about 3/4" inch gap so I can use clothes or some thinner foam to fill.

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 Post subject: Re: Cases for Airline Travel: Which of these 3?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:08 am 
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I have packed Perazzis and Kolars all over the USA and 7 trips to South Americain their Negrini cases. Never had a problem.

Are you considering unobtanium ???

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 Post subject: Re: Cases for Airline Travel: Which of these 3?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:09 am 
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Sera. That was my original plan but many suggested they weren't sturdy enough for baggage handlers treatment.

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 Post subject: Re: Cases for Airline Travel: Which of these 3?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:17 am 
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R: I am 100% certain that mine are the ordinary , nothing special versions.

My only issue is that they have no integral wheels. Since I likely have both my wife's and my own guns , that's a lot to lug for an old fart like me. I will be using them for the trip to Michigan for the Nat'l Fitasc Grand Prix , this coming June.

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 Post subject: Re: Cases for Airline Travel: Which of these 3?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:02 pm 
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I have seen more than one Negrini case with dented and cracked corners from drops or other impacts, I have seen an older style Americase with a split side panel from a drop, but I have never seen a damaged Pelican case. Just sayin...

Here is maybe a hypothetical test for you to consider:

Climb up on a 6' ladder and drop your case with your favorite gun inside onto your concrete driveway so a corner hits -- this emulates a worst-case clumsy baggage handler dropping same case in the luggage area of any major airport. Now ask yourself what case you'd rather have your gun in when you do this test?

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 Post subject: Re: Cases for Airline Travel: Which of these 3?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:07 pm 
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I bet my life on a Pelican case as I have to travel with a medical device. My other case is a Pelican photography case is decades old, has traveled on 2 continents and it is still kicking. However, my pointer did a good chew job on part of the handle...haha! When I fly to England for a shooting vacation my Kolar and wife's Syren will be I a new Pelican case.

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 Post subject: Re: Cases for Airline Travel: Which of these 3?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:15 am 
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Thank you for the post, you solved my problem for my wife's A-400 and air travel. Simple fix Pelican four $200. Thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: Cases for Airline Travel: Which of these 3?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:53 pm 
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I was an airline pilot for several years, and that gave me a very close perspective as to just how luggage gets destroyed. It isn't the TSA who's doing it, but the baggage handlers whom are either directly employed by the airline, or more likely contracted and serving many airlines. I've seen bags fall from baggage carts, be run over by baggage carts, and in one case I've even seen a set of skis run over by an aircraft under tow.

All that aside, the biggest cause occurs during unloading. Typically, the folks in the baggage hold who are unloading the bags on the conveyer want to get out of the cargo compartment as fast as possible. It's hot, and they have more airplanes to do. What this means is that your bags aren't so much loaded onto the belt, as they are thrown in the direction of the door. Most bags will land on the belt, but many end up launched out the side of the aircraft and then take a 6-15 foot fall to the pavement below. (Post flight walk arounds are hazardous if you don't keep your eyes on the baggage door when you're in the vicinity. I learned this the hard way once as I was hit by a falling suitcase.) You could walk around on the ramp at just about every gate and find zippers, chunks of plastic, and occasionally a wheel or two from a days worth of flights.

If I were to even consider packing a gun, I think that aside from the pelican or similarly sturdy case, everything would be as padded as possible, and I would separate the forearm from the barrel and wrap it separately. Just sticking a case inside of another case with minimal padding will still result in damage. Also if your case has wheels, realize that bags and cases are loaded wheels up, so the bag will spend a great deal of time lying on the front. This is to prevent them from sliding back down the conveyors, so don't skimp on the padding on the top or front of a case.


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 Post subject: Re: Cases for Airline Travel: Which of these 3?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:03 pm 
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Rory: Where'd you get that Pelican case?

Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Cases for Airline Travel: Which of these 3?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:43 pm 
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Two other thoughts: carry an extra set of locks with you, as its possible for the TSA locks to get mysteriously opened and not reattached (happened to me twice).

Make sure to understand each airline's policies (have a written copy because the agents often don't know) and watch for the TSA guys in screening as they also don't always know how to handle a gun.



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