Bracken: Just A Working Man With His Tools

Western Rifle Shooters Association

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THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011

Matt Bracken, author of the Enemies Foreign and Domestic trilogy and the upcoming novel Castigo Cay, sends:

I was out for a routine morning run on trash day last week, and snagged this empty plastic tool box off a pile of rubbish set to be collected. At one time it carried a “saws-all” type electric tool. It’s very rugged yet light, with good hinges and clasps. This particular plastic case is 24 inches long, and it can contain a 31″ overall carbine, broken into upper and lower and nested. Plus a few magazines.

As a novelist I have free rein to imagine every type of tactical scenario or trick. Sometimes I put them into my books, sometimes I keep them to myself, and sometimes I decide to share them. I didn’t set out to make the compact carbine carrier, it was found trash put to a new use. I already had the foam sheeting and the other parts. All I needed to buy was some contact cement.

The hardest part of the job was cutting out the stiff plastic dividers molded into the sides of the case to hold the old saws-all in place. The muzzle sticks about 1/4 of an inch out the side of the case. It just missed being a clean, perfect fit by that much. If you like the idea, you need to play around with assorted cases and various weapons. Old tool cases are readily available at thrift stores and pawn shops for a nominal cost.

You can’t tell from the picture and I wanted to spare you too much boring “how I made it” detail, but there is one sheet of one-inch foam below the gun parts, covered with a piece of denim scrap. Two sheets of foam on the top lid, with just that L shaped cutout in the nearer sheet of foam. That’s where the overlapped grip and the white light on the forward rail make a high point. Then I cover the weapon with another sheet of denim before closing up the case. Without even trying, it also holds 3 magazines – you can see 2 of them.

I can toss this rig anywhere and it won’t get a second look. Ditto for carrying it between vehicle and whereever without attracting attention with an obvious “assault bag” complete with velcro-flapped magazine holders.

Just a working man with his tools.


posted by Concerned American | 3:46 AM 


Anonymous Anonymous said…

I got an AK-47 pistol from Centerfire Systems recently and since it’s only 20 1/4 inches long a case like this would work perfect. Nothing stands out like someone carrying a rifle case but a simple tool case shouldn’t attract much attention. Great suggestion.May 12, 2011 at 4:25 AMBloggerBrock Townsend said…

Good eal.May 12, 2011 at 4:55 AMAnonymous Reg T said…

Nice idea, Matt. Thanks again. First, duplex mags, and now I can look at cutting up my Porter-Cable recip-saw box 🙂

Looking forward to buying a signed copy of Castigo Cay. I never made it south of the Berrys when I cruised the Bahamas, but maybe I’ll recognize “Castigo” anyway. Although I’m lovin’ Montana now 🙂May 12, 2011 at 5:00 AMAnonymous Anonymous said…

Very good idea.May 12, 2011 at 5:17 AMBloggerTaylor Harbin said…

Very inventive.May 12, 2011 at 5:27 AMAnonymous LFMayor said…

I’ve modified a cordless drill case to hold my M10 and 3 mags. I used those anti fatigue compressed foam pads and gorilla glue to line the case, the closed cell foam won’t trap moisture.

Dremel tool worked best for me in removing the inner partitions.May 12, 2011 at 2:12 PMAnonymousTPaine said…

Reminds me of Al Capone with a violin case!May 12, 2011 at 3:34 PMAnonymous Anonymous said…

Bloody Excellent!May 12, 2011 at 3:54 PMBloggerDennis308 said…

Plumber,Carpenter,Electrician in Company Uniform and “proper” tool box Entering/Leaving construction site, or other “GREYMAN” dressed in sweat suit and carrying a Gem/Athletic Bag, Entering/Leaving Gym, in the bag a Thompson Center Arms Rifle 20 to 24in. Barrel, say in .308win,.260rem. or .243, even
7m.m.x308,take your pic. All are great one shot Calibers. Add Suppressor and Scope already mounted and adjusted for known distance.But be aware that a Supper Sonic Bullet makes it’s own Noise moving through the air,even with a Great Suppressor.

With good suppressor few people will even understand that “Target” has been shot until said “Grey-man” is leaving or even out of area.

Scout your A/O, Use your imagination for different scenarios and possible opportunities.Do your Home work boy and girls be ready. When the proverbial POO POO hits FAN it will not be a test. And there are no second chances.

TexasMay 12, 2011 at 4:01 PMBloggerRobertSlaughter said…

I do like the “hidden in plain sight” camouflage effect. What I don’t like is the high theft rate of hand-tools, and hence tool boxes, making this a prime target. I have the same feeling about purses and fanny-packs — why place something in such a “steal-me” target?

Compare and contrast: if you want a handy camera carry bag for your DLSR kit, get a diaper bag. Much safer than a “steal-me” brand-name camera bag, and no one steals diaper bags because often there are *dirty diapers* in them. 🙂May 12, 2011 at 4:19 PMBloggerCCK said…

problem is, people steal tools too.May 13, 2011 at 10:47 PMAnonymous Anonymous said…

That’s cool and a more natural look for most people than a violin case. Good job and thanks for sharing.

Yankee RebelMay 14, 2011 at 1:32 PMAnonymous Anonymous said…

Wife has a flower shop. Truck rifle is in a sturdy wholesale flower cardboard box. Can’t say anyone won’t steal that but it doesn’t scream gun like my 511 bag.May 14, 2011 at 10:00 PMAnonymous Anonymous said…

I use a Nike medium bat bag to hold an underfoler AK and five 20 rounders in a Mich Tac Supply bandoleer. I just throw it in the back of whatever vehicle I’m driving for the day.May 15, 2011 at 6:02 AMAnonymous Anonymous said…

An old ice chest works well for ancillary gear, too. I prefer to store ammo, water and food in mine as it’s more temperature stable.May 15, 2011 at 7:43 PMBloggerJ. Croft said…

Not a bad setup at all.

If the case were deeper, perhaps having a false bottom and lay the originally intended tool atop… or a cut and gutted shell of one atop with your weapon underneath?May 16, 2011 at 9:55 PM

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