I have been traveling with guns since I left high school. Even more so, I have been flying and staying in hotels with multiple guns both on official orders and unofficial trips. It’s pretty hard to maintain a low profile dragging a long gun case through the lobby or back and forth from the rental every day. I have tried transitioning them to other soft cases or backpacks after the flight, but that is just a big inconvenience. I have ditched all my big coyote or black rolling duffle bags for colored rollers and hiking backpacks, but in order to fly I still need a hard-sided, lockable case. I own several Pelican cases in varying sizes and have had very few issues with them while flying. Every time I fly with them, I get asked by other passengers and hotel guests or clerks about what’s inside. My favorites are the ones that joke about it being a sniper rifle. I just smile.
I am not sure where I first saw the Ultimate Guitar Case, maybe social media? It was a picture of a hard-plastic guitar case with foam inserts and the ability to secure it with padlocks. It had three layers of foam that could be custom cut for your firearms and gear. When I began to do more research and found the Savior Equipment’s webpage, I was shocked at the price, only $149.99. Replacement foam inserts were only $39.99, if I wanted to change up the contents or better yet, bought a new rifle. Their company info was also attractive. The company was born from a gun enthusiasts desire to have affordable cases that were made of high-quality materials. Coupled with a belief that companies should be measure by their dedication to their products and their customers. They listen to feedback from customers to improve gear and incorporate into their future designs. They also believe that companies should stand behind their products and they offer a Lifetime Warranty with an easy process.
A couple weeks later, the Ultimate Guitar Case showed up at my house. It came in a very sturdy and well branded box. When I opened the case, it had foam glued to the top lid and three separate 1.5” thick layers of foam, same high quality as in my other cases. I decided to cut the bottom layer for magazines, leave the second layer uncut and cut the top layer to fit two different rifle/pistol combinations. I added a sling and Surefire X300 (or other brand) pistol light cut out to add to the options. With the foam all cut out, I added a layer of felt under the bottom layer of foam to keep the noise down from the loaded magazines. Cheap fix at $3.99 from the local craft store, but well worth the effort. I used a cheap hot knife for the first time to cut the foam. I have done better work with a long utility knife, but it was a good learning process. Of note: the hot knife needs to exceed 300° and I think that a DIY jig saw style frame version would have provided cleaner cuts. It turned out good enough to use and later I will order replacement foam (because it is so inexpensive) once I figure out the final load out. The current lay out left the back end a little heavy, not bad when using the wheels. By leaving the middle layer uncut, I can just remove the top layer and will be able to load out any configuration I desire.
The case has two sturdy carrying handles, one in the traditional location on the side and one on the underside of the neck for use with the wheels. The one for use with the wheels was designed to lock flat when not dragging your heavy metal around the world. The wheels are mounted to the exterior of the case to avoid taking up space inside the case. This maybe one of its few weak points, only time and a few flights will tell. I have lost many roller bags and cases to a missing or broken wheel at the hands of baggage handlers. The case has three hinges, 6 latches and 2 reinforced locking holes to keep your gear secure during transit. The exterior is made of a high impact polymer shell. It is more flexible than the heavy-duty plastic cases, but this is where you save on weight. The empty case with foam comes in at 11.6 pounds. Once loaded out it came in right at 30.5 pounds, carrying a rifle, a pistol and 5 loaded magazines for each. Balance was obviously toward the wheels with the M4 magazines and pistol located at that end. The case will stand balanced on its side and upright, even while fully loaded. The handles remained sturdy while carrying the load of the firearms and magazines.
The first trip out to the range was over 90°, so I left the case out in the sun to see how the heat effected it. The plastic got hot, but didn’t get any softer or less rigid. The glue for the foam on the lid separated from the lid and I had to apply some spray adhesive when I got home. I’m sure that if I had set it in the truck upside down, it would have adhered on its own as the glue cooled.
This is a very solid case, capable of meeting the requirements from TSA for checked baggage at an affordable price. I decked it out with Spotter Up branded stickers (ones without guns in the image) and a couple “Fragile, Handle with care” stickers to add to the image. If anyone asks me about the brand of guitar in the case, I play dumb and say that it is my son’s and i dont know. It attracts way less attention than my other rifle cases and transports my firearms safely and securely. I’ll be rocking this case when traveling for a long time.
By the numbers:
Design – 5/5 Light weight polymer exterior with 6 latches and reinforced locking holes keep your gear securely locked inside and meets TSA requirements for checked firearms. The three layers of customizable foam allows for multiple user configurations and versatility.
Durability – 5/5 So far, the case has held up for many trips to the range and the abuse from overworked baggage handlers. If it fails, the company stands behind their product with a Lifetime Warranty and a responsive customer service department.
Functionality – 4/5 This case functions similar to other major competitors with reduced weight and modularity. You do give up some additional cargo space by the overall shape not being a rectangle, but isn’t the shape the reason we would buy it?
Weight – 5/5 The weight is similar to cases with the same rigidity and allows the user to keep the full load well under the 50-pound limit for flying.
Value – 5/5 The price point makes this one of the more affordable cases with similar or better quality and features at $149.99 and replacement foam for $39.99.
Overall rating: 4.8/5 This case is a great blend of reduced profile carriage of firearms and gear safely and securely at a reasonable price without compromising on quality.
I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer via Spotter Up so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.
Originally posted on Spotterup.com September 2019