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July 19th, 2022

Because Size Matters — Large Cases for Long-Barreled Rifles

large rifle transport case nylon SKB Pelican Plano Bulldog

Modern F-Class and Palma Rifles are long. With barrels up to 32″ in length these big rigs won’t fit in your average gun case — either fabric covered or hard shell. Likewise, it seems like PRS rifle are getting longer each season, as competitors find longer barrels provide greater velocity and heavier rifles have more stability, allowing shooters to see hits better.

So, if you have a rifle that measures over 48″ in length, you have two options for transport — first separate the stock from the barreled action, or get a very large carry case that allows extended length rifles to be transported. This article reviews hard and soft rifle cases options for long-barreled rifles.

Large Hard Shell Rifle Cases (at least 50″ Interior)

What to Look For in Hard Rifle Carry Cases
When you are considering a large rifle case you, first measure your rifle and make sure it will fit within the INTERIOR dimensions. With some rifles you can make more clearance by removing or adjusting the buttplate system. Then consider the duties. If you will be traveling by commercial airline, you definitely need a hard case — no way around that. Will you be carrying one rifle or two — that will dictate the case you buy. For max flexibility you’ll want foam like the SKB so you can have various rifles. For max security during transport, however, it makes sense to have dense foam that is customized to fit your rifle.

SKB Double Rifle Case, 56″

skb double rifle case 56

Expensive but built like a tank — that describes SKB Cases. These high-quality hard sided cases are ideal for airline transport, with very tough exteriors, great padding, and strong hinges. The SKB model 2SKB5009 Double Rifle Case is an excellent choice for carrying two rifles long distances. This has a very tough exterior with a metal middle frame for extra strength. Priced at $369.99, this case has exterior dimensions: 56″ L x 16.5″ W x 9.5″ H. This photo shows the case carrying both an M1A and an M1 Garand. NOTE: The foam is not really customizable. This is not the best choice if you plan to carry a single rifle and a spotting scope and a second barrel.

Pelican Vault Series Rifle Cases

firearms gun transport case all weather waterproof airline approved

Pelican Products, known for premium hard-shell transport cases also offers a more affordable VAULT series of cases. Pelican’s VAULT cases offer durability and security at a lower price point. VAULT cases range in price from $40 to $250 and are backed by a 1-year guarantee. The VAULT rifle cases all feature wheels, easy-to-use push-button latches, and four stainless steel lock hasps for security. There is also a brightly colored Hi-Viz strip on the front of Pelican’s VAULT cases. This will make it easier to spot your case at airport baggage areas. At $221.21, the V800 double-rifle case features a 53″ x 16″ x 6″ interior. That’s long enough for F-Class rifles and tactical rigs with brakes. The model V770 single-rifle case is 50″ × 10″ × 6″ inside. That’s still big enough for most hunting, varmint, and benchrest rifles.

Plano Two-Gun Tactical Case

firearms gun transport case all weather waterproof airline approved

This Plano two-gun case is Amazon’s #1 Best Seller in wheeled, heavy-duty firearms cases. This is offered in three sizes: 36″, 42″, and 52″. We like the biggest 52″ version, ($144.00 on Amazon), as it is long enough inside to fit most scoped match rifles. Alternatively, if you have a really long F-Class, ELR, or Palma rig, you can detach the barreled action from the stock, and run the two sections in the shorter 42″ case ($99.99 on Amazon). The big case lets you easily carry TWO scoped hunting rifles. That’s great because this case is strong enough for airline travel, meeting FAA requirements for checked baggage. This Plano case offers a good balance between strength and weight, all for a reasonable cost.

Large Soft Rifle Cases (at Least 50″ Interior)

What to Look For in Soft Rifle Carry Cases
With soft cases, look at the quality of zippers, slings, and shoulder straps. It’s nice to have pockets, but remember most of your accessories (spotting scopes, stands, bipods, rear bags etc.) will be carried separately, so the pockets may not really be that critical. Consider the fabric — is it waterproof? That’s important if you live in a wet region such as Oregon or Washington.

Champions Choice Deluxe 58″ Rifle Case, $80.00

Champion's Choice extra long palma rifle case 58

Many of our readers shoot Palma, F-Class, and ELR rifles with long barrels (up to 35″). It’s difficult to find high-quality, well-padded cases that fit very long rifles. Champion’s Choice offers just such a product, the 58″ Deluxe Soft Rifle Case, priced at $80.00. With thick 1″ padding on each side, big pockets, and backpack straps, this black/blue/white gun case has earned rave reviews from our Forum members. There’s plenty of room for big scopes, and it even comes with an internal tube to hold your cleaning rod.

Bulldog 54″ Long Range Rifle Case, $122.99

large rifle transport case nylon SKB Pelican Plano Bulldog

Highly rated by buyers, Bulldog Long Range Rifle Case fits rifles up to 52.5″ long. Priced at $122.99 at Guncases.com, the Bulldog LR has many impressive features, and is one of the best soft cases you can buy for long match rifles. This versatile case boasts a tough 600-dernier water-resistant outer shell, plus quilted inner lining with Velcro tie downs. There are two zippered center pockets plus an external zippered pocket at front for suppressor storage. The main compartment zippers are lockable.

Creedmoor Sports 52″ Nylon Case for Match Rifles, $76.95

Creedmoor Sports 52

Creedmoor Sports 5252″ Creedmoor Sports Soft Case
At the request of many High Power shooters, Creedmoor Sports has created a high-grade 52″x10″ softcase. That’s tall and long enough to fit a Tubb 2000, or AR-based spacegun with long barrel. The Creedmoor case is one quality offering, with nice 1″ thick close-cell foam padding plus tough Cordura nylon on the outside and nylon pack cloth on the inside. Both materials are urethane-coated for water proofing. Another nice feature are the integral backpack straps (see photo left). These free your hands to carry rests, spotting scopes or other gear.

The Creedmoor 52″x10″ case comes in Forest Green ($76.95, N152A), and Royal Blue ($76.95, N152C). Creedmoor also offers a similar, slightly smaller 48″x12″ case for Service Rifles in Green or Blue.

Savior 2-Gun Backpack Rifle Cases, 51″ or 55″

rifle cases sale

Savior double rifle cases come in sizes from 36″ to 55″ in an assortment of colors. A great choice for long PRS and match rifles, the biggest Savior Gun Case (55″ model) can hold two rifles up to about 53.5″ OAL. Multiple colors and five lengths are available: 36″, 42″, 46″, 51″, 55″. The big 55″ case is $112.99 at Amazon while the 51″ version is $103.99 in black (prices vary with color). With comfortable shoulder straps, these cases can hold TWO rifles and just about all the accessories you’d want to pack.

Extreme 52″ Midsouth Gun Case (Budget Option), $33.25

Extreme 52

For those on a tight budget, Midsouth Shooters Supply offers an Extreme 52″ padded gun case for just $33.25. This thickly-padded case is high enough in the center to fit most scoped rifles — even with big Nightforce scopes. Made by Bulldog Cases, the all-black Extreme 52″ case features a soft faux-fur inner lining, an external accessory pocket, and a removable shoulder strap.

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July 19th, 2022

Long-Term Powder Storage — What You Need to Know

Western Powders Blog SAAMI Storage

SUMMARY: Powder can have a very long shelf life. You need to watch for changes in smell and color. A reddish tinge, almost like rust on the powder, is a bad sign, as is a foul odor, not to be confused with a normal chemical smell. Either of these signs indicate it is time to dispose of your powder by means other than shooting.

Ever wondered about the stability of the propellants in your reloading room? There are some important things you should know about powder storage, to ensure consistent powder performance and safety. Western Powders (which has been acquired by Hodgdon) published an informative Q & A series entitled Dear Labby: Questions for our Ballistics Lab . Here are some excerpts that pertain to powder storage and shelf life. Worried that your powder may be too old? Western’s experts explain how to check your propellants for warning signs.

Proper Powder Storage

Q: I live in southern Arizona where it is very hot. I am told powders will become unstable if stored in an area not air-conditioned. My wife says no powder or primers in the house. Can powder be stored in a refrigerator? What about using a fireproof safe? I would appreciate your ideas. — M.C.

Lab Answer: SAAMI guidelines are pretty clear on issues of storage. They recommend storing smokeless powder in containers that will not allow pressure to build if the powder is ignited — ruling out gun safes and refrigerators.

CLICK HERE to Read SAAMI Guidelines for Powder Storage (PDF)

In their original containers, the lifespan of smokeless powders is quite long, even in hot, arid climates. In fact the lifespan is typically longer than the average handloader would need to store them. Stored safely in a garage or outbuilding, your powder should last years. If you see the powder developing a reddish tint, or giving off a foul odor, it is time to discard it.

Clumps in Powder Container

Q: I ordered some of your Accurate 1680 powder back about in December. I just now opened it … and it is full of clumps. My knowledge tells me that means moisture. Am I wrong? I just now broke the seal and it has been stored in a ammo can with desiccant packs around it and a dehumidifier running 14-16 hours a day. I can’t imagine this being my fault, if this does indicate moisture. I don’t know if the pink part on the label is suppose to be red or not, but it is definitely pink, so if it was red I am wondering if I was shipped an old container? I hope that this isn’t bad and I am stuck with it…

Lab Answer: All powder contains a certain amount of moisture. When the powder is stored or during shipping, it can go through temperature cycles. During the cycling, the moisture can be pulled to the surface and cause clumping. Clumping can also be caused by static electricity if too dry or the powder has limited graphite content. You can break up the clumps before metering and they shouldn’t be a problem. This will not affect the powder performance, so your product is fine. Accurate 1680 labels are designed in Pink. As a side note, specification for testing powder is at 70° F and 60% humidity.

Shelf Life and Packaging Dates

Q: Does powder ever get to old to use and what identifying marks does your company put on the canister for when it is made, You have helped me out a while ago when I asked about keeping my cowboy shooting under 950 fps and it works great less stress on the hand and the recoil is very minimum. — R.B.

Lab Answer: On one pound bottles, the number is on the corner in a silver box. If the powder was poured today, it would read 012815 followed by a lot number. The whole number would look something like 012815749. Eight pound bottles have a sticker on the bottom with an obvious date code. The lot number appears above the date.

Western Powders Blog SAAMI Storage

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July 19th, 2022

NRA Pistol Competitions at Camp Atterbury This Week

NRA Atterbury handgun pistol championship rimfire national matches Indiana

The Harry Reeves Distinguished Revolver and .22 EIC rimfire pistol matches are underway today, July 19th, at the 2022 NRA National Matches at Camp Atterbury. The lead photo above shows competitors on the covered firing line at the 2022 NRA Precision Pistol National Championships at Camp Atterbury, Indiana.

GET Official 113-page NRA National Matches Program PDF »

The pistol matches will continue throughout the week with both rimfire and centerfire competitions, concluding with the .45 ACP match on Saturday, July 23, 2022. For updates on the National Matches at Camp Atterbury this summer, visit the NRA Competitive Shooting Facebook Page.

NRA Atterbury handgun pistol championship rimfire national matches Indiana
NRA Atterbury handgun pistol championship rimfire national matches Indiana

National Pistol Championships
July 17-23, 2022
Camp Atterbury, Indiana

July 17 Registration
July 18 Un-squadded Practice
July 19 Revolver / .22 EIC
July 20 Prelim

July 21 .22 RF
July 22 Centerfire
July 23 .45 Cal
Awards Ceremony

NRA National Matches Calendar schedule 2022 summer Camp Atterbury Indiana

NRA Atterbury handgun pistol championship rimfire national matches Indiana

NRA Second V.P. and NRA Nat’l Matches competitor David Coy (R) is pictured here with Chief Referee Jon Nortemann at the 2022 National Precision Pistol Championships at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. Congratulations to Jon, who has 40+ years of service as a volunteer at the NRA National Matches!

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