SECURING THE GUN CASE INSIDE MY LUGGAGE:
Now, here is the step I add that most do not. I decided some time ago that I wanted to make it difficult for an employee to take my whizz-bang 99. If they are going to do it, it needs to slow them down, cost them time, and be obvious to the cameras and their employer what they are doing. Is it foolproof? Nope. Nothing is, and I'm sorry about that. But it has been fine for me. I've never even had it tampered with.
So here's the trick. Most rolling suitcases have a handle that is made of aluminum, steel, or titanium (with ultra high end luggage). But regardless of the material, they are pretty sturdy. And that handle connects all the way down the back of the suitcase, creating a "spine" to the bag. I make a small incision through the lining and padding in the bottom of the bag so that I can put a 1'' cable (lots of materials for a good cable, but generally steel) around that post (or both posts, if you want) to secure the gun case. If they wanted to take that case, they would absolutely have to take everything out of the bag and destroy it, or cut it. Now TSA does cut locks off, and I've heard different stories about what kind of cutters they have quick access to... but in general the smaller, more common cutters will take a few passes with a 1'' cable. Larger cutters will cut right through any cable, and in that case you may want a good chain. But for me, the cable has been more than fine. Further, an employee will have to have the larger cutter, put at the INSIDE of the bag, with the bag fully open to do this. While it's not perfect, it's a lot more trouble and will draw much more attention than a common thief would take with all of their coworkers around and the internal security cameras on.
Here's the cable looped under. Very little disturbance to the bag.
I simply keep the cable coiled (it's tougher than you think to uncoil it, and especially under all my stuff, that's just what I want someone to be up against).
Then I put a good padlock that is harder to cut. Again, if they're going to do it, they can't use the little shears. And with the small bolt showing on this model lock (on of my favorites), they'd have to move stuff and be obvious to get to it.
This is allowed for two reasons. One, it does not actually lock anything they can't have access to. You can still move a coil or two and fully open the gun case for inspection if you want. But second, if it DOES prevent access to anything, it's the gun case. And YOU ARE ALLOWED TO BE THE ONLY ONE with access to your gun case. What it really does is make it much harder and more obvious if an employee wants your firearm.
Here's what it all looks like, fully secured and with the shoe bag with the holster and mags next to it:
Here's how much room it takes up in the bag. PLENTY of room left.
And finally, I lock the outside zippers with two TSA approved crappy little locks. I use the $10 set that has the red and green lights that tell you if TSA has opened them or not. As wimpy as those locks are, it's still a step that must be taken to access your stuff inside, and the color of the lock will show if they did. TSA locks still get cut sometimes, if they can't get the master key from a supervisor, etc, but it's pretty rare in my experience. Especially if you go through secondary screening with your case (a simple step, outlined in the next section.)
This is the system I've worked out for my hard luggage. I'm working on trying some things with my soft luggage that doesn't have the handle/spine. Sometimes I travel with a Maxpedition duffel. Really good construction. To date, the best idea I've tried out is to loop the cable through a few t shirts and a few pairs of underwear (including a bright colored pair of my wife's "sexy" ones--will catch eyes all over the room instantly if someone was walking around with those showing). That way, if someone takes out the gun case, they've got this gaudy string of clothes attached to the line with it. It will stand out and be memorable for a camera or coworkers watching it. They do make some cable locks that have a 120db alarm, so if the cable is cut it sounds the alarm. I've considered that as well. I'm always looking for soft luggage ideas...
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