Good hard-sided suitcase for flying with a gun?


the naked prophet
August 29, 2007, 12:11 PM
I'll be flying in September, and I'm looking for a good hard-sided suitcase to use (will lock the gun in an under-the-seat-car-safe within the suitcase) for my checked bag. I don't want to spend a whole gun's worth of cash on it, but I'd be willing to spend, say $150 on it. Since it'll have a gun in it, I can use a REAL lock instead of a TSA approved lock. I pack light, so it can be fairly small for a suitcase (and I'll take a carry-on bag with some additional clothes, etc.).

Any suggestions?

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August 29, 2007, 12:24 PM

August 29, 2007, 01:07 PM
I fly with my Cabela's bullet proof cases for guns. They're sized like briefcases and are about as tough as you're going to find. I also have Kalispel and Zero Haliburton, but the Cabelas are around $120 for the pistol case.

August 29, 2007, 03:49 PM
+1 for Pelican. That's what I use when flying with firearms.

August 29, 2007, 03:54 PM
The Cabela's Bulletproof pistol case is 18.5" x 10.5" x 4.5"
it easily holds two of my revolvers and is airline approved. $120

The smallest rifle case is 44" and offered for M16/AR15 or
T/C $170

August 29, 2007, 03:56 PM
Probably about $40 to your door and super tough.

Steve C
August 29, 2007, 05:32 PM
Read the TSA requirements at

Contact your air line to see if they have additional requirements to transport a firearm.

If you follow their rules and suggestions you shouldn't have any problems. Generally they want to inspect the firearm to make sure its unloaded and any ammunition contained within the case complies with their and the TSA rules so you don't want to lock it up too tight unless you want to stay with the item until approved.

the naked prophet
August 29, 2007, 09:15 PM
I will stay with the suitcase until it's approved. That's one of the reasons I want to check a pistol (besides carrying it for a week), that they can't search my bag without me present.

I didn't see any suitcases on the pelican website. It's all cases for cameras, laptops, guns, etc. I need a hard-sided suitcase. I have to pack other things too, like clothes. I can pack some clothes in my carryon, but I need a suitcase, rather than a dedicated pistol case.

August 29, 2007, 09:41 PM
As already mentioned, but worth repeating -- go Pelican! ;)

the naked prophet
August 29, 2007, 09:43 PM
Is there a specific model of the Pelican that can be used as a suitcase? I guess I'm asking if they have any that look like a suitcase rather than a case holding some sort of expensive equipment.

August 30, 2007, 06:58 AM
The answer's either Pelican or Zero Halliburton. Pelican's cheaper.

August 30, 2007, 01:05 PM
Sounds like what you need is a high quality hard side suitcase since you are putting the safe box in the suitcase right?

Heck, remember the old Samsonite ads, or was it American Tourister and the gorilla bouncing it around the cage.

I have traveled half way round the world and back and a hard side is much better at protecting the contents than what you can get away with in the US with a softside.

Samosonite even has a lifetime warranty.

Cheaper Than Dirt has some nice Military Surplus cases for sale. Probably used for electronic equipment. I don't know if it is large enough for double duty suitcase and a home for you hg safe.

Keep searching the web, I'm sure you will fine just the right size at the right price point.

Safe Travels.

the naked prophet
August 30, 2007, 01:13 PM
So how are the Samsonite? I can get a Samsonite suitcase for less than $90, or a similarly sized Pelican (which looks like it holds some very expensive equipment) for about $130. I'd rather have something that looks like a suitcase, but the combination lock looks rather cheesy.

August 30, 2007, 01:24 PM

Check out all the hardsides at this site. There are more expensive ones.
Filter by hardside and then price.

If someone wants in your suitcase they will get in. Usually theft occurs by an employee and they have boltcutters, drills for the locks, huge screwdrivers for prying and sawzalls at their disposal.

The all aluminum Halliburtons are probably the most secure since they are constructed of metal. You just won't get one in the size you are seeking unless you are willing to pay $600 to $2000.

Protection is one thing security is another. You will find nothing that will totally secure your valuables that leaves your posession.
People ship valuable camera, jewlry, guns, golf clubs electronics all the time and they make it. You don't think and airline employee doesn't know what a long gun case with 10K worth of rifles and scopes looks like headed for Montana or Zimbabwe?
If someone wants your stuff badly enough to jeopardize their job they will take the entire case.

I'd get a harside Samsonite and call it good....or

If you are traveling in the US why not ship it ahead UPS or FED Ex to a trusted person?

Ship it to Mailboxes etc, hold for pickup.

the naked prophet
August 30, 2007, 01:31 PM
There is no trusted person on the other end. It's a business conference, and I'm not mailing it to a hotel.

August 30, 2007, 04:24 PM
Zero Halliburton is awesome, but extremely expensive. Until I was able to afford ZH, I travelled with my Samsonite hardcase luggage for over 10 years on 4 continents. The Samsonite hardcases have held-up very reliably but gets beat-up really badly. This has been a plus for me because they look so old & cheap that no-one would bother to steal it (You'd better keep your eyes on ZH cases).

I have travelled with guns locked inside Samsonite with no hassles from TSA, and while it has always gotten there & back, the locks are really flimsly and can be popped with a screwdriver in seconds.

August 30, 2007, 05:52 PM
I don't have any of these cases, but I am very tempted to get one to at least evaluate:

The brand's been around a while, looks like a decent Pelican knock-off :) (But at very nice prices; knockoffs can be a great deal, if they're good enough to suit.)

I asked in a previous thread whether anyone's ever used any of these Seahorse brand products, but got no response -- so, for anyone reading now, have you got any 1sthand experience with these? :)


August 30, 2007, 06:42 PM
What's wrong with a TSA approved lock?

That's what I use on my SKB cases (

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