Everyone knows they need to keep their firearms clean and secure not only at home but on the way to the range. Most people don’t think twice about choosing a hard case for their rifle, but often might pick a soft case for their handgun. Is that the right choice? You spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on your firearms so spend some money on a case to protect your handguns.
You can spend hours using Google to search for reviews for the best hard gun case for the money. There are dozens to choose from for your firearms. There are cheaper options and there are more expensive ones, too. You don't have to search long to discover that a very good choice is the Plano Gun Guard All Weather Series large pistol case. This case isn’t cheap but it is more economical than some of the others out there on the market. The case measures 19.75”X14.5”X8” and the inside is just slightly smaller at 17”X12”X7.25”.
I’ve tested my Plano Gun Guard case for almost a month now in several situations. I’ve found the quality is outstanding for the price point. The case is made rugged like a tool box. It can take the dings and scratches. When I first picked up the case I noticed the larger ergonomic handles. These foldable handles are big enough to accommodate any size hands even with gloves. No scratched knuckles here. The handles fold up or down securely for storing the case away.
The Plano Gun Guard All Weather case has four secure tabbed latches with high strength pinned hinges that anchor the lid shut. With ease you can open and close the case. There is no gorilla strength needed. The dual stage, spring loaded latches insure that your case will not pop open during the TSA abuse it might take if you are flying. For added security, there are two padlock closures that are TSA compliant.
The Plano Case comes with two keys for the TSA locks
During the month I tested the Gun Guard case I did not have the opportunity to fly but did try out the security measures during several tests. I wanted to see if the walls were indeed thick and strong enough to not flex and provide a strong shell for the handguns and optics I placed inside. The interior of the case is filled with four layers of high-density foam. The two largest pieces are pick and pluck foam that can be custom shaped to fit the gear you have.
Let’s face it – this is a nice case – but can it take the abuse? Plano’s Gun Guard All Weather Series case is watertight, crushproof and dustproof. The size is nice as it easily stores four large frame handguns or other valuable accessories such as optics or electronics. Before I cut the foam I decided to use an egg to test the case. If a raw egg can be protected, I felt the case would hold my optics to zero and protect my handguns.
Placing a raw egg inside a ziplock bag for th drop test
I carefully placed the egg in the center of the case. For the first test I climbed my ladder and dropped the case from approximately 6 feet straight down onto the concrete of my driveway. After a short bounce the case came to rest and I opened the latches to see that the egg was safe without a crack. For part two of the test I placed the case in the back of a pickup truck and drove to the range. My gun club like most is down a dirt road. The case bounced around in the back of the truck but again the egg was safe.
Getting Ready to drop the case from about six feet high
Just a small bounce and the egg is safe and sound
The Plano case held rock solid during the drop test. It did not pop open and did not dent. The case did experience minor dings and scratches as I would expect from the concrete, rocks and a truck bed. The dirt road tested the claim of dust proof. After the one mile journey down a very dusty road, the inside was clean with no sign of the Georgia clay.
The Plano Gun Guard All Weather series is designed for the most extreme conditions. The case is fitted with an automatic pressure equalization valve, so the contents are not affected by changing pressures at different altitudes. In addition, Plano advertises that the Gun Guard All Weather series is the ultimate shield against the elements featuring a continuous Dri-Loc seal that ensures the case is watertight.
I decided to test the watertight feature using the sprinkler system in my back yard to simulate a rain storm. I left the case for approximately one hour. As I expected the seal held and the contents were dry. I did not do a complete submersion test but felt that I proved the seal would hold during a rainstorm at a match or while hunting. There was one final test – a day at the range.
Testing a possible layout before I customize
Before heading out I decided to design the interior to fit two of my GLOCK 24 guns as well as my Browning Buck Mark with C-More Optics. I used my GLOCK 24 as a measure since this is the largest of the frames of my GLOCKs. There is space for four large frame handguns. I compete in Steel Challenges and the set up for three guns fit my needs well.
I used chalk just as Plano recommended to outline the handguns. It was easy to use the pick and pluck foam. Be careful though as replacement foam can be costly. The multi-configurable design makes the case easy to customize for your particular needs. It took less than one hour for my case to take shape.
I packed my guns and headed to my range. It was a nice surprise to find that the foam protected my zero. I would not have to spend extra time getting my C-More sights back on target. I will admit this case is bulky and takes up space compared to other types of cases, but the level of protection can’t be beat. Whether you use the case for everyday storage, airline travel or transport by car, it will meet and exceed all of your expectations. I was also pleasantly surprised that the customer service offered by Plano was above average. The Plano Gun Guard All Weather case seems almost indestructible and you will definitely feel that you got your money’s worth.
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