Pelican model 1700
Photos courtesy Pelican Products
Pelican model iM3300
Photos courtesy Pelican Products
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Most law enforcement agencies these days have adopted a patrol carbine/rifle operator program wherein the patrol officer is authorized to carry a rifle on duty. Whether the weapon is owned by the department or the individual officer, the manner in which the weapon is transported and securely stored is of critical importance.
Unless the officer has the luxury of a patrol car exclusively assigned to them or the long gun is assigned to the car instead of the individual officer, the officer is tasked with storing the weapon and carrying it to their patrol car. Ideally, the weapon is kept in a locking mechanism readily accessible to the officer in the passenger compartment. For some agencies, the rifle is kept in the trunk, along with an assortment of other items, which tend to end up banging around in the course of an average shift.
Although some prefer a soft-carry bag, the most secure and robust method of storage is a polymer case. Of this type, the most popular by far are the many varieties manufactured by Pelican Products.
I’ve owned several Pelican cases throughout the years. They’ve all withstood what many might consider abuse. I’ve stored and transported MP5s, Remington 700s, Benelli M1 Super 90s and other assorted long guns to weapons courses and out-of-state hunting trips. The cases built by Pelican are designed to withstand the rigors of military and law enforcement.
The high-impact polymer, combined with an abundance of interior foam (easily cut to the exact dimensions of specific weapons, or left to the uncut original to fit just about any weapon generically) provide enough insulation for the weapon inside to be undamaged if the carry case is unintentionally dropped. In fact, many thousands of miles traveling in the bed of a 3/4–ton pick-up (with dozens of miles on bumpy dirt roads), I’ve never had a rifle’s scope lose its zero when cased in a Pelican product.
Security is obviously an important part of any case designed to transport firearms. All cases (whether handgun or long gun) manufactured by Pelican are built to exceed Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requirements for transport on commercial airliner. All have built-in holes to allow for multiple padlocks to secure the case and its contents. The padlock holes are reinforced with stainless steel inserts. Additionally, Pelican cases are watertight, crushproof and dustproof. They also provide an automatic pressure equalization valve that may be useful if altitude/pressure is a consideration.
Weight can be an issue when a case is loaded with multiple weapons (for instance a sniper with a .308 bolt gun and an AR-15) and support equipment (spare magazines, ammo, rangefinder, etc.). Many of Pelican’s long gun cases come with built-in wheels that allow the case to be wheeled to the patrol car or returned to the locker room or storage area. Although this may seem unnecessary, it’s a nice option for transporting over longer distances.
Two cases of particular interest for law enforcement include the model 1700 and the model iM3300. Both are built to military specifications for durability. The 1700’s dimensions (35.75" x 13.50" x 5.25") make it ideal for a collapsible-stock AR-platform with a 16" barrel or less or similar profile long gun. The new iM3300 is designed for longer-barreled, scoped weapon platforms, with interior dimensions of 50.5" x 14" x 6". Weighing 17 and 23 lbs., respectively, both come with strong polyurethane wheels with stainless steel bearings to allow easy rolling on almost any surface.
Although they’re not inexpensive (the model 1700 MSRP is $225.00 and the iM3300 is $299.00), the Pelican cases are an outstanding investment, especially considering Pelican’s lifetime guarantee.
• Offered in a variety of sizes, shapes & colors
• Waterproof (1 meter for 30 minutes) & airtight
• Lifetime guarantee
• None noted