Well for those of you that are regular readers of the Duty Roster you'll remember a while back a gentlemen by the name of Braxton Wilson, from Starlight Cases, was telling us how good their cases are. Well we all know how "trusting" we long range shooters are when it comes to someone telling us how "good" something or other is. I'll say this up front - HE IS RIGHT - these cases, at least the one I'm about to tell you about, are GOOD!
I e-mailed Brack and inquired about their cases and after a prompt reply asked him to send me one for "test and evaluation". After several more e-mails the case was sent to me.
When the case arrived by UPS the first thing I noticed, when picking up the box, was how HEAVY this thing was. OK, I thought, this may have a bunch of packing etc., etc. to make it this heavy - let's see. Opening the box the case was just as heavy. My best guess, as I don't have a scale, is the case weighs between 8 and 10 pounds with the foam inserts. It is of a very good looking design, 52 inches by 13 1/2 inches by 6 1/2 inches and a nice semi gloss/flat black finish. With the case out of the box I noticed several interesting things. First the handle is spring-loaded and goes back in place as soon as you let go, don't get your fingers under it! Also, the handle is bar steel with a foam pad covering the "hold onto" part, very heavy duty but not uncomfortable to carry. The next was a screw valve next to the handle that, after reading the directions that come with the case, I discovered is a pressure relief valve! Four "holes" are molded in to provide locking points for four padlocks, this case can be SECURED! Yes folks this thing is hi-tech! The case is a double rifle case with the design, at least the way I worked it, to be one rifle on top of the other with foam padding in between. The foam is THICK and made to be cut to fit whatever you're going to place in it. I cut out sections for two rifles, so the case would be as I would use it, when I abused it! There is enough space left, if you cut correctly, for other "things" to be included, spotting scope, ammo, even a sidearm - you would just have to "play" for your requirements. A nice little knife is sent with the case for this purpose. OK so I've described a nice looking, hi-tech double rifle case, so what, well now we get to the down and dirty stuff, and I do MEAN down and dirty!!
The Starlight web site shows their cases sitting under the four wheels of a HUMVEE. OK, I thought, let's see if that is true. Well I didn't have a HUMVEE but do have a Chevy stretch cab S-10 so I ran over it! Surface scratches only, the case remained closed though did break off two "fins" that are around the hinges, no impairment to the operation of the case at all! Next I decided to REALLY abuse the case. I bought a dozen eggs and placed them inside the case, threw the case in the back of the truck and headed for the Gun Range. Now the road to our Gun Range is dirt and was the inspiration for the term "washboard" road!! Nooo - just driving down this road was NOT good enough! I tied the case to the back of the truck and THEN drove the 3/4 mile to the first of our ranges. Oh, I forgot, this was at 20-25 mph!!! Remember the eggs! OK the case had some damage this time! One of the latches, the far left one as you look at the case, broke completely off, and was initially lost, more on that in a minute. The latch on the far right broke half of its holder and there are many, many scratches all over the case. The case remained latched and CLOSED!! There was a partially broken corner, again on the left lower front as you look at the case, but NO DUST or DIRT had gotten into the case!!! Now for the eggs! Out of the dozen only three had broken and leaked but where still where I had placed them!! I'd have to say with this amount of abuse that's pretty damn good!! I cleaned up the bit of a mess and headed back to town. On the way out I FOUND the "lost" latch and reattached it to the half of its holder remaining - it latched and held! OK, they also claim the case withstood a drop from a 5 story building. Well, I was able to get access to a 2 story building and with a drop onto a concrete sidewalk the only damage was a enlargement of the hole that had developed on the left lower front corner - this allowed foam to be seen. The "lost" latch popped off but was replaced and work just fine!! They also claim a 29,000 psi water cannon wouldn't allow the case to leak. Well no water cannon but how about the high pressure hose at the local car wash! Checking with the people at the wash it develops "only" 1200 psi but what the heck. After five minutes of this I dried the outside of the case and opened it. Now remember there is a hole in the left lower front corner of this case about the size of a quarter! I was expecting the case to have a pretty good amount of water in it - WRONG - could not have been more than a dozen drops of water - way less than a teaspoon full! This case is IMPRESSIVE!!! I gave this case more abuse in a hour or two than most would take in a lifetime!!
Brack has advertised this in the Emporium, for Sniper Country readers, at $123.99. Now let me put it to you this way. If you have a $1,000, $2,000, $3,000 weapon system you want to protect what's $123.99!!! This is dirt cheap protection from the everyday banging around our weapons take. This case is airline approved and should even survive the worst they can do to it!
I fully recommend this case without reservation! To this writer anyway, this is the best case you can buy without spending as much for the case as you do for the weapon!