PRODUCT REVIEW: PROTECTION FROM THE STORM
Created on 14th May 2009
MARK CAMOCCIO tries out the Storm gun case from Hardigg - and finds it offers legendary attention to detail
LIKE ANY sport, shooting can be enjoyed on many levels. It can be viewed purely as a relaxing outdoor pursuit offering playtime away from the day job, or it can become a thoroughly absorbing competitive sport, requiring a more scientific approach. Any participant happy with the former definition would probably have fairly standard kit and a basic gun slip/rifle case to match. While this may well be perfectly adequate, the level of protection can vary enormously. However, if you take your shooting seriously, never under-estimate gun protection. Basically, top-level equipment needs top-level protection.
Storm is a new name to me where gun cases are concerned. Having received the model IM3300 for review from a company based in Southampton (P&M Packing), my eyes have been truly opened. Apparently Hardigg, the American company behind the brand, has been supplying the US military and aerospace industry with specialist containers for over 50 years, so the firm obviously knows what it's doing!
P&M Packing is a specialist outfit, (packing the Team GB yachts for shipment to the Beijing Olympics and manufacturing flight cases for bands such as U2 and Coldplay). So becoming an agent for Hardigg has been a logical step. Constructed from high-performance resin, this Storm case is basically a no-compromise, all-out protection system, which is incredibly strong and built to flight case standard. Coming in at 19lb empty, this Storm is a bit of a beast. With exterior dimensions of 53.8"x16.5"x6.7" and interior dimensions of 50.5"x14"x6", it's sizeable too.
Thorough design means it comes fitted with integral roller wheels and twin rubber grip carry handles. One is mid-length and the other at the top end, so the case can be wheeled if necessary. Attention to detail is key to these cases, and if the military demands are born in mind then the Storm brand should be able to take any punishment from civvy street in its stride.
To this end, huge, flat-edged hinges bring peace of mind, as do the over-sized push/pull latches, which snap closed with satisfying authority. Moulded hasps offer several locking points to be used with a conventional padlock, so security is also assured when required.
One main feature of these cases is that they are totally water-proof, coming fitted with an internal rubber seal running around the inside lip. This could obviously create an air seal too, so the manufacturers ingeniously fit the Storm with a Vortex valve. The valve automatically adjusts the air pressure without letting in water: all clever stuff, but maybe a little excessive for ordinary use? As previously stated, the weight would preclude lugging the Storm around a shoot all day. Yet as a professional product, for shooters seeking maximum protection and the peace of mind that this brings, the Storm is very hard to beat. Safe transportation or storage is where these cases come in and I've yet to see anything that competes on that score.
The generous dimensions mean it could act as a double-gun case for low profile sporting rifles or shotguns, or easily absorb a specialised competition rig. There's plenty of space for accessories to be held alongside too.
These cases can be supplied empty, for the customer to fit their own foam (a curious approach, but an option nonetheless). They are also supplied with pre-perforated ‘cubed' foam (where cubes are easily removed to allow for the general shape of the cargo) or with a custom-cut foam insert (involving either a template marker sent to the customer for measurement and return, or the customer calling in directly for fitting).
Foam options from P&M Packing are priced as follows:
- Empty case (no foam) £175 + VAT
- Additional cost for cubed foam £28 + VAT
- Custom-cut foam insert £63 + VAT
- Delivery £18.50 + VAT
The lifetime guarantee makes these cases a long-term investment.
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