Preparing a Case for Travel

2022 is turning into a year of amazing adventure.  The most exciting thing so far is my first trip to Alaska.  On top of that, I get to hunt a black bear while my husband has a wolf tag.  We are learning so many things about how to get ourselves ready and finding a safe way to transport our firearms is number one.

I purchased a Pelican double rifle case.  It is a Vault V800 model.  I really like the fact that you design the configuration and then cut out the foam to safely secure and pad all of your items.  I wasn’t sure how to begin this, so I did quite a bit of research and watched TOO many videos on YouTube.

Here is the quick and easy breakdown of what I discovered.

First establish all of the necessary items that you need to fit in the case.  Lay them out on the foam to simulate how they will be once complete.  Make sure that you have all items beforehand to ensure a good cut the first time.  

Keep in mind that there is some forgiveness in that there is another piece of foam beneath the top layer, but you may likely want this extra to enable yourself to have another completely different cutout for other firearms or purposes.

One key piece of advice that I found was to arrange all of your heavy weight items over the wheels if your case has wheels.  This will make it easier to pull through the airport and transport in general.

The second great key that came from a video on the Optics Planet page was to have your serial number facing up when the case is opened.  Occasionally a TSA agent or airline official may open your gun case and witness its contents.  If the serial number is in plain sight, this may greatly reduce the time that the case is under scrutiny.

These two foundation blocks made me arrange my case a million times until I felt like the case was leaving at least 1 inch of foam around the edges of the case and still fit every piece in it well.

Once you are happy with the arrangement, get your chalk or marker ready.

TIP:  Try to mark at a 90 degree angle so that there is plenty of room while having a good contour to the items.

The second step can begin only once you have the configuration established.  This is where it can get a little tricky but depends upon your tastes. 

I prefer neat and orderly without seeing chalk or marker marks exposed.  If this does not concern you, then begin cutting just as it is. 

On the flip side, if you would like a streamlined and professional appearance, then take a moment to switch all of your items to the opposite side of the foam as if it is a mirror image.  

This will allow you to keep the weight over the wheels after cutting the foam and it will allow you to turn the foam upside down to place the marked side on the underside.  Once you have this figured out then the perfectly clean side is in the correct orientation of items that you designed in the beginning.  The mirror image is only to get the cutout done without having the markings seen.

When you are performing your cut outs an electric meat knife is truly fast and easy.  There are many options available, but I found a simple Black & Decker model on Amazon for just over $10.  I did have to use a pair of sharp scissors or my knife to make the first puncture cut so that I could get the electric knife into place.

No matter if using a knife or electric carving knife, make sure to work at a 90 degree angle to the foam.  This will provide a good fit and help you with keeping the foam pieces that you cut away in one good and solid piece.  This is important because when you are not using this one particular layer of foam you want to put the solid cut out pieces back in to make it one complete piece of foam again.  It can still protect your firearms and other items. 

If you make a mistake and it tears, you can always order another piece of foam to replace it.  It will not be the end of the world for your precious cargo.

It seems like a simple process, but it did take me quite a while.  Perhaps this was because it is my first trip and I likely overpacked it.  It could be too that I just don’t know yet what I will need, so I am taking everything!

Here is a list of the items that I included in my Vault by Pelican case:

  • Boring Rifles 28 Nosler scoped out with a Leupold VX6-HD 3-18×50 (I have the bolt out in its own cutout)
  • 20 round closed case of 28 Nosler ammo
  • Rifle Mag
  • G20 pistol
  • Glock mag
  • Box of 10mm ammo
  • Field Optics Research Inc tripod with gun vice clap attachment

Now I just hope to get a BEAR!!!! 

If you are traveling soon I hope that this helps you.  Hunt hard and shoot straight!

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