Back in 2016 I stumbled upon EXPLORER Cases at SHOT and have stayed in contact with them ever since. I did a review of a case then as well as a padded gun case and backpack kit (which I think must have been a prototype for this kit). When this new case (and kit) came available they offered to send me one as a long-term demo, which I of course accepted.
The Ultimate 3-Gun Travel Solution Kit is a two-part solution, and as its name suggests, was designed for 3-Gun Competitive Shooters. It consists of a hard outer case (specifically EXPLORER Cases model #13513) and a soft-sided organizer bag (their 3GUN Softcase).
The padded Softcase has three separate compartments; one each for pistol, rifle, and shotgun. It has an integrated, adjustable backpack strap, and has three pouches: one waterproof utility pouch and two large zippered pouches for AR and pistol Magazines. It also has an outside pouch for whatever.
3-Gun Bag Features:
- Padded Soft Case made of durable 600D polyester
- Three separate compartments for a rifle, pistol, and shotgun.
- Adjustable Velcro straps help secure guns in position.
- An external padded, zippered pouch on the front
- One waterproof utility pouch
- Two large, zippered pouches for storing AR and pistol magazines.
- Heavy duty lockable zippers
- Carry handles mated with Velcro lined handle
- Internal Dimensions 52.9″L x 13.5″W x 4.0″D
- Adjustable, padded backpack strap
- Padded shooters mat
- Weighs 7 lbs
Explorer Case 13513 Features:
- Made of Copolymer Polypropylene Compound
- Internal Dimensions 53.1″L x 13.8″W x 5.3″D
- Waterproof & Shockproof
- Sand & Dust Proof
- Resistant to harsh temperatures (-33°C/+90°C)
- Four padlockable points
- Large contoured front handle
- Two-man side lift handles
- Jam-Free Latches
- Heavy-Duty Ball-Bearing Wheels
- Optional shoulder strap available
- TSA Approved
- 100% Guaranteed Forever
- Weighs appx. 19 lbs
Unfortunately, I didn’t make it many 3-Gun competitions (because at the time, my non “Editor in Chief” job didn’t allow for much time off; now I can consider it a part of the job). The Ultimate 3-Gun Travel Solution Kit did, however, go with me to Superstition Mountain Mystery 3-Gun, and I carried all of my guns in the Softcase from stage to stage (including my loaner KE Arms Team Rifle).
The hard case itself is bomber. I have put mine under nearly a year of hard abuse. It has gone with me to the range almost every time. It has slid out of the back of the truck, been bounced around in the bed, dropped, and my pup even once “accidentally” marked it (BAD DOG). It held up to all of the abuse. No dog pee made it inside (thankfully the case was closed at the time), and it was successfully washed.
The Softcase has not shown any appreciable wear from a decent year of use. Even getting a load of New Mexico sand and dirt in it (because I stupidly left it open during a wind storm) didn’t phase the zipper. The internal soft cases held magazines and eye and ear protection, but didn’t really have volume for much else–not that I expected them to.
The biggest issue I had was with fabric pinch from the Softcase, specifically with the fabric flap around the zipper. It would occasionally get caught in the lip of the case when I closed it and if I didn’t pay attention. Simple solution, though. Rotate the bag 180 degrees so the zipper faces the hinge side of the case. I’m ashamed to admit that it took nearly six months to figure that gem out…
I had the opportunity to fly with the case and it did admirably as a lockable firearms case. It rolled nicely through the terminal, though it was pretty obvious as to what it was–kind of hard to be covert with a rifle length hard case in flat dark earth… My flight experience was pretty benign–I recommend you read the excellent series “Packing in the Friendly Skies – Basic Training for Flying with Firearms” by Deviant Ollam (who is doing an intensive review for us specifically on flying with an EXPLORER Case; out in the next few weeks).
Honestly, the EXPLORER cases are the best I’ve used. The way they seal and the overall construction is great. I fact, I am enough of a convert to their products to mount one on my FrontRunner roof rack as a top storage box. The 3GUN Softcase works well with the #13513 hard case (assuming you pay attention to fabric pinch).
To be fair, I have not recently had any experience with Pelican (or any other brand)–I am sure they all produce fine products.
MSRP on the EXPLORER Cases Ultimate 3-Gun Travel Solution Kit is $335, and you can learn more or order at https://www.explorercases.net/?product=explorer-custom-3-gun-bag-with-padded-shoulder-straps