September 30th, 2011

Budget-Priced Gear Haulers for Gun Guys

Got gun gear? Need mobile storage? Here are three handy storage solutions that can haul your stuff safely without breaking your budget. In fact, our first recommended item costs less than a buck. How can you argue with that!

The 99¢ Compact Tool Box — Fits inside a Backpack
Here’s a great item for hunters and tactical guys. Right now, the 99¢ Store is selling a small, 11″x5″x4″ plastic tool box. The price — you guessed it — is just ninety-nine cents. Hey that’s less than the cost of a cup of coffee. We like this unit because it is small enough to fit in a backpack or large duffle bag. It can keep your pointy tools from poking holes in your pack, or provide hardshell protection for pricey items such as range-finders, cameras, and Kestrels. As you’d expect, the box isn’t perfect — the snap closure could be tighter. But the tool box does the job. It’s a very handy size, and the price is so cheap you can hardly go wrong. I bought two — one for gun stuff and the other for emergency gear in my vehicle. Note: This item is not listed online at — availability may vary from store to store.

Stanley Mobile Chest 033026R

Lockable Utility Boxes — Good for Guns, Ammo, Tools
Northern Tool sells a versatile, lockable Utility Box for just $10.99. This is available in Green (Item# 26169) or Orange (Item# 26171). There is also a larger version with a top tray for $15.99 (Green, Item# 26170 or Orange, Item# 26172). We like these storage boxes. They have a rubber weather-seal, and the tupperware-type plastic is gentle on your tools or firearms. The sturdy locking system lets you use these boxes to transport handguns in jurisdictions (such as California) where a locked container is required. The smaller box can easily hold two medium-sized handguns, plus ammo and shooting glasses. It’s also nice to have a lockable box to hold expensive accessories such as wind-meters and cameras. The big box (15″L x 8″W x 11.5″H) is strong enough to sit on and holds plenty of gear. We have a few of these boxes (both large and small) and they’ve held up through years of service.

Stanley Mobile Chest 033026R

Wheeled, Lockable Mobile Chest Can Haul It All
If you need to haul a ton of gear, consider the Stanley Pro Mobile Chest (model 033026R). The main compartment of this thing is big enough to hold a front pedestal rest, a couple sand-bags, plus muffs and more. There’s also a small, see-through, pop-top parts caddy on top. Use that for stowing small tools, jags, patches, brushes and other supplies. Right now you can get this (#033026R) Mobile Chest at Ace Hardware for just $49.99. You can order online and Ace will ship the unit for free to your nearest Ace Hardware Outlet.

Stanley Mobile Chest 033026R

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August 22nd, 2009

Ten-Dollar Deals for Outdoor Sportsmen

What will ten bucks buy you these days? Not much. Buy a movie ticket and you won’t have enough left over for the popcorn. Well here are three bargain items — all priced around ten bucks or less — that should prove useful both at the range and for other purposes as well.

Stanley 16″ Plastic Tool Box from Lowe’s
Item #174828, Model 016011R, on Sale for $7.98

This is a versatile, compact Tool Box from Lowe’s. It has two convenient flip-top lids to carry small items such as patches, jags, and brushes. Inside you can stow your muffs, cleaning supplies, cleaning rod guides, log books or other range essentials. The box has an external hasp that can be locked with an small padlock.

Stanley 16

Plano Soft Tackle Bag from Cabela’s
Item #OG-123603, Reg. $29.99, on Sale for $9.88

Wait a minute, you’re saying — this is a shooting website, not a fishing forum. Well, the four (4) plastic boxes in this Tackle bag are ideal for holding bullets, small reloading tools, patches, jags, bushings and other small items. You can use the bag to store these items conveniently, or bring the bag with a single box to the range and use the rest of the compartment for windmeters, ear muffs, notebooks and other miscellaneous shooting gear.

Plastic tackle holders fishing

Diamond Cut Jeans at Sierra Trading Post
Items #23080, 17745, 1933U, on sale for $10.46

At a time when a pair of Levis are running $45 at some stores, can you still get a decent pair of jeans for ten bucks? Well, the answer is yes. In its “Bargain Barn”, Sierra Trading Post is now selling Diamond Cut Jeans in a variety of style and colors (even camo), for just $10.46 per item. The “Relaxed Cut” jeans, item #17745, are offered in stonewashed khaki, dark grey, light blue and dark blue, sizes 30-50. We like the Carpenters Jeans, item #23080, offered in stonewashed blue with plenty of pockets for storage. Sierra Trading Post also offers Diamond Cut Jeans in three different camouflage patterns (all listed as item #1933U): Mossy Oak Break-up, Natural Gear Camo, and Realtree All-Purpose Camo. For hunters needing comfortable, inexpensive camo trousers, these are a good solution. Head to and check out Diamond Cut trouser line-up. These $10.46 pants have been hot sellers, and the buyer reviews have been postive.

Bargain Jeans Camo Pants

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April 26th, 2009

Outstanding Range Box from MTM Case-Gard

A good range box is a truly essential piece of kit. Among the many range boxes available, the MTM model RBMC-11 Range Box leads the pack in terms of versatility. It is rugged, it has plenty of storage space, plus it doubles as a handy cleaning station. This Editor has used the MTM Range Box to clean rifles and as a “range expedient” rifle holder when adjusting scopes and tensioning action screws. It’s a good product that does the job.

MTM Range Box

Fitted Cleaning Cradles
The key feature setting the RBMC-11 apart from most range boxes is the rubber-coated cradle system. Wide enough to fit a 3″-wide fore-arm, the cradles slide into vertical slots on either end of the box. This allows your range box to serve as a stable maintenance station. The RBMC-11 is really pretty stable in this role, and the cradles won’t mark your stock. The cradles even feature slots on each side to hold your cleaning rods when not in use. The MTM Range Box is secure enough to stay in place when you’re brushing the barrel. However, if you’re working on a carpeted bench top, you may want to keep one hand on the box when running a cleaning rod through the bore, just to ensure the box doesn’t slide.

MTM Range Box

Versatile Upper Tray with Dividers
The MTM Range Box has two major components — the box base (with cradles), and a large upper tray with hinged top and carry handle. This large upper tray clamps securely to the bottom unit for transport. The top tray has a long section that holds cleaning rod guides, long brushes, grease syringes and the like. There are two, clear-plastic fitted divider trays. These will hold your patches and jags, plus comparators, ring wrenches, and other small tools.

MTM Range BoxWhat Might Be Improved
Though we really like the MTM Range Box, it’s not perfect. First, we wish the box was a bit deeper, to have added carrying capacity. The dimensions of the MTM Range Box are: 25″ long x 11.5″ wide x 8.75″ high. We’d like to see it 12″ high/deep to allow larger solvent bottles to stand upright and to provide more space to carry tools and shooting muffs. However, it is deep enough to hold the large 100-round MTM cartridge boxes that are popular with many shooters (see photo at right).

The cradles are very nicely designed, and will hold your rifle securely without marking the stock. However, we’ve found that sometimes the rear cradle grips the gun so well that the cradle slides out as you lift the gun up. This is not a big deal, but it does demand a little extra attention when you’ve finished cleaning. We really like the twin clear plastic dividers that fit into the large removeable top-tray, but we wish the dividers had individual hinged tops. This would keep patches and small parts more secure.

The MTM Range Box costs about $50.00 at most vendors. CLICK THIS LINK to order from for $48.95: MTM® Shooting Range Box.

(FYI, rebates a portion of the purchase price from each sale to This helps support this website.)

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