Allen Soft Gun Cases
By Chuck Hawks
The Allen Company, Inc. of Broomfield, Colorado, U.S.A. produces a large line of soft gun cases for scoped rifles, shotguns, and pistols. They have been in business since 1970, and their products are widely distributed.
Their soft cases generally have a tough canvas or nylon fabric outer covering, foam padding to protect the firearm, and a cloth lining. The web handles wrap around the case. Most seem to use YKK #5 zippers. I have a number of various models of Allen soft gun cases, and I use them constantly for transporting firearms to and from the shooting range or the field.
I much prefer a soft case to a hard case for transportation by automobile, as it takes up substantially less room in the trunk of my car. My daily drive is a Mustang Cobra, and trunk space is limited. A padded canvas or nylon soft case provides all of the protection required.
My most recent Allen purchase was one of their inexpensive Model #349 "Tin Can" cases, a 43" tan case for a scoped rifle bearing a silk screen of three tin cans sitting on a stump--there's a little bit of Americana for you. It was on sale for $9.97 (regular price $14.97) at my local Bi-Mart discount department store. The zipper in my tough old Apache leather and vinyl case has about given up the ghost after some 40 years of use and needs replacement, so I was on the lookout for a 42-43" soft case (on sale, of course!).
Model #349 uses a canvas outer cover, approximately 1/2" of foam padding, and a cloth lining. The cloth handles are stitched completely around the case, which seems like a good idea to me. A zipper runs from the muzzle end of the case completely around the butt end, essentially opening the case on three sides to allow easy access. There is a convenient nylon loop at the muzzle end of the case, which allows it to be stored hanging from a nail--at least that is what I use it for.
Other similar Allen models that I own and use on a regular basis include the Model #809 (48") scoped rifle case with a camo pattern Endura outer and unlined egg-crate foam interior. This is one of the less expensive models, but sufficient.
The Model #515 All Endura Pocketed (46") scoped rifle case with green Endura outer shell, 3/4" foam padding, snag-free synthetic lining, and 1.5" wide web handles. It includes a small outer zippered pocket. This is probably my favorite of the various Allen cases, and this year (2005) generally runs about $20 or less online or at a discount department store.
The Model #277 "10/22" case comes with a black Endura outer cover and red trim, 7/8" foam padding, synthetic snag-proof lining, and a red "10/22" logo. This 40" scoped rifle case is basically similar to the All Endura case, but lacks the outer pocket. There are also Ruger 77, Remington, and Marlin logo versions in various lengths; all sell for about $20 in my area. This case and the All Endura case seem to have a denser grade of foam than the cheaper models.
Somewhat fancier, and slightly bulkier, are the Model #265 Montana cases. These have an Indian blanket fabric exterior, brushed lining, reinforced web handles, and 1" foam padding. Prices run about $20.
All of the cases described above are for scoped rifles. Allen soft shotgun cases, distinguished by a straighter shape that does not allow room for a scope, are generally identical to the rifle cases. I also use Allen soft pistol cases, which are basically similar to the rifle and shotgun cases, only smaller. Like the rifle cases, they work fine for transporting guns in vehicles.
The models described above are only a part of the extensive Allen line. There are many others with which I am not personally familiar, but which are doubtless equally satisfactory. In summation I can only say that these Allen cases are economical, durable, and functional. They are made in the U.S.A., so what more could you want?
Copyright 2005, 2013 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.