Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Gear Review: Seahorse SE1530 Rifle Case

My Seahorse SE1530 rifle case has been beat up on the outside, but protects everything inside.

After spending countless hours getting my rifle properly set up and sighted in, I wanted to be sure it was protected when I traveled. I also wanted a solid case that I could be sure my rifles would not shift in. It took some searching, but I found that Seahorse Protective Equipment Cases made a rifle case with those exact specifications. The SE1530 is offered in Black, Desert Tan and Forest Camo. I chose desert tan with the pull-n-pluck foam (you can order the solid foam if you'd like).  

Seahorse Cases is a small, family-owned business here in Southern California. The cases are made here in the USA, so that means a lot! I met with them and discussed their product line.  

External dimensions measure 46.6 in long, 16.7 in wide, and 6.8 in tall. The internal dimensions are 44.5 in long, 14.3 in wide and 6.2 inches high. That is sidewall to sidewall. Once you add in a bit of foam you will lose some space, but not much. It weighs nearly twenty pounds by itself, so prepare to haul a considerable load with two firearms inside.

My first test was to fit the case pull-n-pluck foam to my needs. I was traveling to New York for my whitetail deer hunt and needed to take my 300 WIN MAG and my 12 gauge shotgun. I had to plan carefully because once the foam is plucked, there isn't any going back. I moved the different weapons around and when I finally got them where I wanted, I began plucking. It was surprisingly simple and allowed each part to fit snug inside the case.

The four latches secured the lid closed and they also have a secondary lock to ensure against unintentional opening. This would be perfect for airline travel. I know how well gear is treated on airplane by the staff. There are also six areas where you can install a TSA approved lock. While it does keep the case secure, I had to purchase six locks due to TSA regulations. Even still, my case was very secure! The case has a pressure purge system and when you lock the case it is engaged. After travel, when you open the case, you can hear the hiss of the air being let in.

While the case is meant for firearms, I found that it will also fit some bows. This is plus in my book! I have cases for all sorts of things and my bows have cases that are designed specifically for bow. Having the Seahorse case around is a benefit. I had to remove my stabilizer, but I was able to fit the bow inside the case. Smaller bows would fit in here nicely and remain protected.

Some of the external components I really like are the handles and wheels. The handles are tough, rigid, and allow an easy grip on the case. The wheels work well, never got stuck, and when moving my gear from the airport to the car I found these to be extremely helpful. I brought along my large cooler and I was able to put the cooler on top of the SE1530 and wheel them both to the car. This was excellent for a person traveling alone and needing to move a few bags and their firearms.

The only issues I had with the case were the sponginess of the center and the lock holes. When I say sponginess, I mean the very center, when leaned on, will bend inward. It could be enough to squeeze down on your firearms if they were large enough or had a large scope. My .300 WIN MAG was one of the rifles I had inside. I opted to have my scope to the outside of the case to ensure it would be protected. I felt that if something did hit the center of the case just right that my scope might get damaged. I also had an issue with the padlock holes. The website claims that the case holes 'Fits standard size Masterlocks®', but I found that the Masterlocks I tried did not fit. The TSA locks I used fit great, but the other locks were too large. I'll contact Seahorse and see if I was using a lock not specified.

The SE1530 rifle case retails for around $160 on Amazon. That is a great deal on a solid case. I love the way the way this case protects my gear and you can't beat the price with this quality. I am already looking at the other cases in their line for my other firearms and gear I need to protect from the elements. Check out their website and start protecting your gear today!

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