Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Carry alternatives

The Reluctant Paladin got me to thinking with his post on concealed carry options yesterday.

Range bags and gun cases are handy things for carrying your shooting irons, and if you're one of those mall ninja types, you might even enjoy carrying a "tacticool" black bag or case festooned with all sorts of gun logos that leave no doubt as to the contents of such bag or case. To each his own, I say, but sometimes, discretion is a good thing, especially if you want to avoid the attention of thieves or others who do not have your best interests at heart.

My personal range accessories tend to be a bit more low-key.

Exhibit #1: The humble backpack.

Just $15 or $20 at Wal-Mart or any similar big-box store, you see these everywhere. Every kid, every student, every bike rider all seems to have one and the draw no attention whatsoever.

I can take my backpack practically anywhere and no one will look at me twice.

Try doing that with a soft-sided short rifle case that says "Uzi" or Colt Firearms" on it and see how many people watch you as you walk past. Sometimes it's best not to advertise or draw attention to yourself.

That brings me to Exhibit #2, the humble briefcase. Because sometimes, a backpack may not fit the environment or your personal look that day.

In many quarters, almost everyone has a briefcase. The mark of the businessman, they hold court papers, work documents, yogurt, and every now and again, guns!

Note that there's plenty of room in both the backpack and the briefcase for spare mags, extra ammo, and other gear. I use the Uzi as an example precisely because it is big and otherwise difficult to conceal. But if you don't have a sub-machine gun or don't want to carry one, these also hold lots of pistols and even a few SBRs. The point here is that you should be thinking outside the box as far as your legal carry options go. Dedicated gun cases are great, and I have plenty of them, but there are those times when I don't want to tell the world what I'm carrying, even if I'm just going to the range.

Just a thought and a suggestion for my gunny brothers and sisters out there who might want to be low key while out and about with their shooty goodness.


  1. I've been thinking about my softsides lunch box for concealed carry. No one will bat an eye.

  2. Fanny pack from the Million Moms March... :-)

  3. @ Old NFO: I like the way you think!

  4. Our range bag is an old Jansport backpack. Its festooned, as well, sporting a set of sub-qual "dolphins" and two or three "Stitch" collectible pins from Disney World. And I didn't even include the pin where Stitch is holding three of his four plasma pistols, either (in one pin, he's dressed up like a pirate from Pirates of the Caribbean, in the other he's wearing a Mickey Mouse hat and eating an icecream cone). Nope. Not a thing that screams guns!!!!!11!

  5. Murphy: From an interoffice memo President, Beechcraft Defense Company,LLC:


    Second issue: an entertainment note. Some of you may be aware of a project we've been working on for the Discovery Channel. They've completed fillming their new 3 hour mini-series call "FUTURE FIREPOWER" and will be airing all 3 episodes this Thursday night, May 9th, starting at 7PM and is is very impressive. Get your DVD's ready.

    End Quote

  6. I like the idea also, Murphy Man; however, do you think, in the aftermath of Boston, will folks think of backpacks as....oh no!! a bomb!!! More likely, they might get more scrutiny by LEO's?

  7. Good diversion tactic, ONFO!

    I have a wide assortment of non-firearm logo'd cases that can be pressed into service just as ML suggests. And better yet, most of them didn't cost any high-falutin' Wal-Mart price of $20 or even $15, but were picked up at yard sales or Goodwill for a buck or two.

    One of my favorites is a soft-side electric guitar case, which, with just a bit of styrofoam blocking on a masonite form, has the potential to make a nice Mini-14 carrier.

  8. Anonymous12:00 AM

    Thanks for the tip

  9. I like the canvas "tool bags" you can get at Home Depot and Lowe's.

    Since I'm always working on stuff around here, my neighbors don't bat an eye when I load up to hit the range.

    And when my son and I head out to the rifle range, we leave EARLY in the morning, and nobody's out yet to see us load the Jeep.

  10. May I recommend Parrott Canvas products. They manufacture here in eastern NC. I have several of their bags and backpacks including the one my 28 year old son carried to elementary and middle school!! No markings and a variety of colors available.

  11. I have always liked the soft cases that are nondescript as opposed to the tactical ones with all the mag pouches on the outside.