For quite some time now, I’ve tried to take a long gun with me when I travel, but carrying a gun case through a hotel lobby has the potential to draw unwanted attention. Using a discreet method to carry a long gun doesn’t alert naysayers or thieves that a rifle or shotgun is present in the car, hotel, or anywhere in between. I’ll show the discreet rifle transport I came up with, but we’ll look at a couple more options as well.
Very recently, I took my family on a much needed vacation to Florida’s coast, which happened to be during spring break, and just before states decided they needed to start locking things down due to COVID-19. I decided to bring my trusty AR-15 in case society had a meltdown while we were so far from home.
A few years ago I’d taken a travel bag that we’d obtained in a luggage set, but rarely used, and measured it to see if it would hold a taken down AR-15 with a 16 inch barrel. It happened to work great! Another advantage was that it looked like a random piece of luggage without being flashy or expensive. I also decided to protect the rifle inside by making a wooden bottom with upright pine boards on both sides as well as a center board to protect the two halves of the rifle. The wooden frame wasn’t completely necessary, but helped add a fuller shape to the bag. I also tossed in some old shirts to wrap the AR’s receivers in so they wouldn’t rattle against the boards.
This last trip was the third out of state trip I’d used with this system, and it worked like a charm. I stood amongst spring breakers (who displayed varying states of consciousness) and security guards without receiving a second glance. I still had my every day carry piece on my hip inside the waistband, but if things had taken a turn for the worst, my rifle was accessible and operational within a minute or less.
Another method I’ve used is to carry my Mossberg 500 in a cheap camping chair sleeve, which works at a glance, but I think some cardboard would be helpful in adding more shape to be completely discreet. My regular carrying case for my AR is actually a cheap guitar case, but there are some drawbacks to that. Guitars can have a wide range of value, which hopefully my el-cheapo case says I’m not carrying anything special, but there are no guarantees as to what a thief may do if the opportunity presents itself. The other drawback is that my current musical talent consists of being able to play Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star on my daughter’s violin, which won’t help much if an actual guitarist tries to strike up a conversation about my “axe” (does anyone even still call them that?).
Yet another discreet method would be to add a broken down AR-15 rifle, or even a complete AR-15 pistol into the same suitcase you’re storing your clothes in, but if you share a suitcase with your wife like I do, she may tell you where to stick that rifle.
Have any of you used a similar discreet method for transporting your rifle or shotgun? Have you used a completely different method? Make sure you check out TFB’s Benjamin F’s epic gun running adventure with a bright yellow duffle bag!