Portable Rifle Case design.

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Forum topic by Joe Lyddon posted 06-07-2013 05:02 AM 11206 views 1 time favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Joe Lyddon

10320 posts in 4250 days

06-07-2013 05:02 AM

Topic tags/keywords: portable rifle case gun transport gun case gun case design lockable case

Portable rifle cases for transporting rifles… I need to make at least two cases for three guns.

I have Searched & only found one… would like to see more…

I would like to make one case to hold two rifles and then a single case for a third rifle.

To be used primarily for transporting to shooting ranges, etc.
... doesn’t need to be anything Fancy… just serve the purpose.
... methods of locking.
... carrying handles (preferably shop made)

Should rifles be broken down or not?

Does anyone have any Links to such projects?

I think, by law, it has to be Lockable…

Any ideas would sure be appreciated.

Thank you in advance…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

21 replies so far

View harry1's profile


526 posts in 2483 days

#1 posted 06-07-2013 05:23 AM

“Should rifles be broken down or not?”

According to our government Joe, with sledge hammers!

-- Harry, Western Australia

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21719 posts in 3304 days

#2 posted 06-07-2013 10:30 AM

Joe, what I would do is lay out the rifles like you want then to be carried and design around them. Consider durability, security and padding/protection. I’ll bet the Joe Lyddon case will be a model for others!!

Harry, our liberals would like to see them broken into many pieces too!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View scotsman9's profile


134 posts in 2087 days

#3 posted 06-07-2013 12:12 PM

OK, I know a little about this so I’m gonna get all “weapony” on ya.

During transport: Bolts removed, pump actions dropped, semi actions locked open, break actions broken open, tactical should have barrels removed and all should have trigger guards. If this is done, you will only have to lock your ammunition case. And never transport ammo in the same container as your weapons. This will protect you from the overwhelming gun laws.

Buy acoustical padding to line your case and be sure it presses into your weapons to securely hold them in place. This will let you avoid any hard surface contact with your weapons.

Sorry I don’t have a plan for ya, good luck and keep us posted on what you build.

-- Just a man and his opinion.

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1317 posts in 2133 days

#4 posted 06-07-2013 12:19 PM

Interesting question. I don’t know if the laws are different in different states or not, but I have never come across any problems having fully assembled guns in the car with me. I actually got pulled over once and they asked me the old ” Do you have any drugs or weapons in the car?”. Well, I told them I had an SKS and my shotgun in the car, because I would much rather them find it when they expected to than when they didn’t expect to. I had to get out of the car while they searched it. Both guns were assembled, but not loaded. They looked for a while and then let me go on my way. This was in Texas by the way.

Sounds like Scotsman knows the rules so, he might be able to clarify if the laws he listed are federal or state laws.

Good luck!

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2490 days

#5 posted 06-07-2013 12:35 PM

FWIW: It is my understanding that each state has its own laws on transporting firearms—just as each state has different laws on CCW.

I agree with Jim J. about designing your own case, particularly since I don’t recall ever seeing any such plans. You can start the standard for everyone.

Best wishes and let us know what you come up with.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View MisterBill's profile


411 posts in 2450 days

#6 posted 06-07-2013 12:53 PM

I did a basic Google search and I found a few interest blogs about wooden rifle cases. One man said that he built a case to hold four rifles and that by the time that he done, the case was so heavy that it was almost worthless. Another person said that used gun cases can be purchase fairly cheaply at pawn shops and on ebay. I know that this isn’t what you want to hear but I just wanted to pass along to you some of my findings.

I agree with Jim: if you are going to build a case, then layout the guns that you want to transport and design around those dimensions.

Hillbilly is correct in his statment that each state has it’s own laws about transporting guns. Best to find out the law’s for your state and go from there.

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 3660 days

#7 posted 06-07-2013 01:18 PM

Joe….Long guns are not required to be locked in a case. Unless it is considered an assault weapon. CA DOJ info states that rifles and shotguns do not have to be in a locked container.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3283 days

#8 posted 06-07-2013 01:53 PM

Here in Montana, there are still a lot of people that use those rear window gun racks for their pickup. Remember
it drove the Secret Service a little wild back a few years ago when the president was coming through. I just
bought one of those big plastic cases to transport the rifles easily when we go to the range. The mainly use
the foam to hold the guns secure. You would have to use some thin plywood to make the case light enough,
and maybe reinforce with fiberglass. Have fun and let us know the result.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Roger's profile


20952 posts in 3002 days

#9 posted 06-07-2013 02:37 PM

I would definitely add some egg-crating on the inside for stability of your fine firearms. Look forward to seein what you come up with. Just don’t carry the ammo in the same cases with the firearms. I’m pretty positive those must be somewhere/anywhere else when transporting. You’ll have to check your laws out.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View WillAdams's profile


85 posts in 2193 days

#10 posted 06-07-2013 08:38 PM

Here’s my archery case design—maybe some ideas there?

Click for details


Click for details

Finding nice hardware was the biggest challenge.

View bold1's profile


306 posts in 2045 days

#11 posted 06-07-2013 10:03 PM

Joe, I’ve never run across a wooden rifle case except the Military rough cases. But my pistol case is wooden and is made of Basswood. I’ve had that for 40 years and it has held up very well. It was lined with a velveteen type cloth, like they use on chair seats.

View RodNGun's profile


118 posts in 2502 days

#12 posted 06-07-2013 10:26 PM

You might use the tradition breakdown shotgun case as a model. I made the fly rod case (and the rod) I did not make the gun case (its wood wrapped in leather).

BTW – How the heck do you keep photos from getting cut off, this shows about 60% of what’s in Photobucket?

View bold1's profile


306 posts in 2045 days

#13 posted 06-07-2013 10:45 PM

I’m having a heck of a time with Photobucket, too.

View bold1's profile


306 posts in 2045 days

#14 posted 06-07-2013 10:46 PM

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8549 posts in 2527 days

#15 posted 06-08-2013 01:59 AM

We do custom foam fab at work and distribute all the big name molded case brands such as Pelican & Hardigg and have sold rifle cases to the coast guard, so I’ll offer up some thoughts to consider:

1. As already mentioned, weight will quickly make the case no fun to use. And two rifles by themselves are going to be upwards of 15 lbs. So I would keep the walls thin and use a lighter wood species with good strength.

2. Good quality latches (I wouldn’t want to rely on just one) are a must. I’ve personally had the latch pop on a cheap-o hand gun case and dumped a nice revolver onto a stone path :^(

3. Consider having a lap joint around the perimeter so you’re not relying on only the hinges, latches and fasteners to prevent the lid from shearing off along the parting line if dropped or slammed.

4. Having two small casters let into wheel wells on one of the short bottom edges, with a handle on the opposite short side wall is a very handy design. Don’t carry the case, but tow it like a pull cart for a golf bag. Roller blade wheels are great for this and can be had pretty cheep on e-bay

5. Open cell polyurethane egg crate style foam can wick the oil off of the surface of the blue steel and can initiate corrosion over time. So be careful about long term storage in your case. I’d recommend putting blued rifles in a silicone impregnated gun sock.

6. Plan on leaving pockets for desiccant bags.

7. Consider lining part of the case (like the lid) with VCI paper.

8. Plan accessory pockets for magazines, small tools used at the range, and (if a allowed in your state) ammo.

9. Consider a hasp or built in lock set, as some states require transport in a locked case.

10. Whenever I’ve needed to ask a gun law question, I call the state police, and each time I’ve done so, they have forwarded my call to an officer in the gun permit department, who is an expert on the subject. Don’t get your legal advice on the Internet. Unknowingly violating a gun law could ruin your life. A hunter safety booklet used to teach the class in your sate will also address transport laws.

Have fun and be safe!

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

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