• Storm iM3300 Rifle Case Review

    While we all put a great deal of thought and effort in selecting just the right rifle, optics and other accessories for our needs, most of us give little thought toward how we will transport said rifle to and from the range or their favorite hunting spot. Most of us have progressed past the old standard of a soft case and now use a hard plastic case to transport our firearms, but even these only offer minimal protection from a major incident. With the price of rifles and optics today, it simply makes sense to protect that investment by using a high quality case that will protect it in the event of a fall, car accident, or other unfortunate event. This is exactly where cases such as the Storm iM3300 (manufactured by Hardigg Industries, Inc.) come into play.

    The Storm iM3300 has many features that place it well above the standard Plano or DoskoSport cases more commonly found in use by today's sportsmen. The iM3300s exterior shell is constructed of a tough HPX resin material that is far superior to the usual ABS plastic found in most other cases. Additional supports and bracing ribs are integrated into the shells design for even greater strength and durability. The result is an exterior shell that far surpasses even stringent military test standards.

    All Storm cases also feature uniquely designed hinges with stainless steel molded-in pins and feet to permit sturdy upright standing. The case is securely fastened using push-pull latches that hold fast under impact yet operate smoothly and effortlessly. Each case is also fit with a patented Vortex valve that blocks water and dust while automatically adjusting air pressure, a must for airline travel. Double layer soft grip folding handles offer uncompromising strength and an ergonomic fit, and are positioned in convenient locations. Larger cases such as the iM3300 tested here also feature in-line roller wheels to make transporting the case much easier.

    Looking inside the Storm iM3300 one will find three layers of foam to protect your rifles. The two outside layers are your standard egg-grate style foam, while the middle layer is smooth-sided high density open-cell foam with a smooth surface on either side. The fit of the foam to the exterior shell is perfect.

    Unlike the cheaper ABS plastic cases, it is necessary to trim the center layer of foam to accommodate your rifles. This is easily accomplished by tracing the outline of the rifles onto the surface of the foam with a marker and then cutting out the patterns with an electric carving knife. The result will be a very snug fit to your rifles to hold them securely in place.

    While the iM3300 can accommodate two scoped rifles, the layer of foam along the outside edge by the scopes is pretty thin.  As such I would only recommend using it as a double gun case with non-scoped rifles.As you can see in the included photos I set this case up to hold two scoped varmint rifles, one topped with a 40mm scope and the other a 50mm. While the case is large enough to accommodate this configuration, I will note that the thickness of the foam around the top and bottom edge is thin in spots and wont offer nearly as much protection as would be available for a single rifle located in the center of the case or two rifles without scopes. Stock style and scope size will dictate what combinations will work the best.

    So how in the world do you test the strength and durability of a rifle case without risking damage to your expensive firearms? Easy, don't put them in the case while testing. The testing done here will assume the three layers of foam in the interior are sufficient to absorb the shock, and will focus on the durability of the exterior shell and the latches. After all, the foam wont help you if the exterior shell or latches fail and expose your rifles.

    The first test I devised to evaluate the durability of the case was to simulate the effects of an elevated drop. Most airline cargo bays are between 10 and 15 feet above the deck, so the case was filled with miscellaneous items to simulate the weight of two rifles and dropped from a comparable height.

    For the first series of drops I played it safe and dropped the case onto turf. When those proved successful I repeated the drops onto a concrete surface. Not counting the odd looks I received from my neighbors while standing on the roof of my house sacrificing the iM3300 case to the Gods, the tests were relatively uneventful. The shell held up superbly and all the latches remained securely fastened. The only evidence of the torture was a few light scuffs on the exterior finish.

    Storms promotional video displays a military HUMVEE running over one of their cases to show off the strength of their outer shells. Well, I don't have a Hummer, but I do have a 4,300 pound 1978 Jeep Cherokee that will suffice. So again I subjected myself to odd looks from my neighbors and proceeded to drive over the iM3300 case several times. Aside from a few scrub marks from the tires the case was again unaffected.

    To say I was impressed with the strength and durability of the Storm iM3300 would be an understatement. I also greatly appreciate the overall thin profile of the case compared to similar products from their competitors. Measuring just 6.5 high, 17 wide and 53.5 long it is easy to store and the in-line roller wheels on one end make transporting a breeze. The handles are very robust, fit the hand well, and fold down out of the way when not in use. The latches are very easy to open with the simple push of a button on each, and offer a clearly audible click when closed to let you know they're fully locked. There are also four molded in padlock hasps allowing for additional security.

    Priced at $326.00 retail (the Storm iM3300 seems expensive, but when you consider the amount of money you have invested in your rifle the money spent on a top quality case is an easily justified investment. After all, the peace of mind knowing your rifles arrives at their destination in one piece and good working order is priceless.

    A quick scan of the internet and I was able to find the iM3300 for as little as $180.00, so the price savvy shopper will do well to check several sources for the best price. Throw in a no questions asked lifetime replacement warranty and youll be hard pressed to find a better case than the Storm iM3300.

    Hardigg Industries, Inc.
    147 North Main St.
    South Deerfield, MA 01393
    (800) 542-7344

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