Plano Cases: You Know The Name

by
posted on January 15, 2014
plano_F.jpg

Years ago, I wrote a couple of guidebooks on fishing in Arizona. You’re probably scratching your head about now, but some of the state’s lakes and rivers are on the desert floor, while others are high-mountain destinations at 9,000 feet. That means weather never closes the “season,” if you’re an avid angler smart enough to change destinations.

I visited many different waterways while researching the books, but one thing was always the same-a Plano tackle box was at my side. It doesn’t look new any more, but 20 years later, it still works perfectly, cleans easily and remains reliably simple. I don’t expect anything less from the company’s new line of shooting cases.

The Field Locker Mil-Spec Case series was unveiled yesterday morning at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show. There are five versions, varying in size from 56.38"x18"x17.5" (with wheels) to a petite 17.876"x10.920"x6.882" (to protect a handgun), with each created using Plano’s innovative molding process that creates a reinforced shell. All are waterproof and dustproof and have a pressure-release valve. This is serious gear from a name outdoorsmen have grown to trust. MSRPs range from $94.99 to $249.99.

The introduction caught some by surprise, but Plano has been involved in the firearm market for a while. For the past year, my ARs have ridden to the range in the company’s Soft Sided Tactical AR 15 Case. It’s not fancy, but it performs with that renowned Plano grace.

There aren’t many details on the website, but there’s a lot to like about this case. For example, it comes with a detachable, padded shoulder strap (1.5"-wide nylon) that frees your hands for ammo, chronographs or lunch. The attachment points on the case are anchored extremely well and the fasteners are metal, not polymer. So far this one hasn’t shown any signs of wear.

If you prefer to hand carry, nylon-webbing handles (1.5" wide) on both sides of the case can affix to one another with a hook-and-loop system to reduce palm strain if your bench is football fields away. The material used for the handles feels like it’s hollow and tubular, although a seam below the entire length leads me to believe it’s really doubled over and stitched. Either way, it’s much more comfortable with a heavy rifle than the flat nylon often found on other rifle cases.

The handles attach at the top of the case, but their nylon continues along the side (with stitching) until they meet a stippled and textured polymer coating that covers the bottom 2" of the bag. That’s where the bag will wear most as you drag it across the ground, drop it at the bench, or slide it out of the back of your pickup. The extra protection helps ensure longevity, and in true Plano style it doesn’t get much play on the website. The same “armoring” is found fore and aft on the bag.

Interior padding is generous and I’ve yet to knock optics off zero. There’s a faux quilting in the interior nylon, perhaps a touch to minimize the chance of tears spreading rapidly. I haven’t had any problems, that’s for sure.

The rifle case measures 42.5" long, 3.5" thick and 13.5", so it holds most ARs.

I do have, however, two complaints. The label that reads, “Made in China” is on the exterior. Ignoring the debate in regard to overseas products, let me just say it’s dumb to have a white-and-gaudy label protruding from a pretty cool, tactical-looking rifle case. Luckily, and unlike mattress labels, it doesn’t indicate I’ll go to jail if I remove it, so it’s gone.

My other nitpicky concern has to do with details on the website. A zippered, side-storage compartment (that measures 17.25"x9.5") holds five magazines securely in pockets with hook-and-loop closures. That’s magazines, not the website’s claim of “clips.”

No, it’s not as sexy as the rest of our SHOT Show coverage, but it is interesting to note the number of well-known companies that have seen the light and are now producing serious firearms-related gear-even if they don’t get all the terms correct.

Latest

General Douglas MacArthur, “Model 1903” Colt Pocket Automatic pistol
General Douglas MacArthur, “Model 1903” Colt Pocket Automatic pistol

General Officer’s Pistols

From World War II to the present day, the U.S. military has issued pistols to officers, presenting men of high rank with some of the best-known handguns of all time—and conferring on them no small measure of prestige.

The Armed Citizen® April 22, 2024

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

Potential 5.56 & 7.62 NATO Price Fluctuations Coming?

The U.S. Army’s shift to a 6.8 mm cartridge for close-combat troops will trigger 5.56 NATO market fluctuations in the next few years. History indicates enthusiasts can expect prices to initially decline, followed by slow rise to a price plateau.

Preview: RCBS Summit Single Stage Reloading Press

The RCBS Summit press is in its 10th year of production, and a limited-edition model featuring Freedom Camo in red, white and blue is available in 2024.

New For 2024: Desert Tech WLVRN

Since the company's beginnings in 2007, Desert Tech has been at the forefront of innovative and groundbreaking bullpup rifle designs. New for 2024, the company is updating its Micro Dynamic Rifle (MDR) design with the modular and multi-caliber-capable WLVRN.

Preview: ALPS OutdoorZ Impact Pro Turkey Vest

Designed to function like a stadium seat with a wearable harness, this latest update to the Impact Turkey Vest from ALPS is packed with additions to better address the needs of dyed-in-the-wool turkey hunters.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.