I’m still working on my friend Jerry the instructor’s shooting package. His model 70 Heavy Varmint is lapped, recrowned, polished, mounted and ready to go. I’m configuring his gun case now. I decided on a Storm 3300 gun case. I own a couple of Pelican 1750 gun cases and have taken them tens of thousands of miles. They are still absolutely perfect besides some battle scars. Storm is the direct competitor to Pelican, or was, anyway, because Pelican recently bought Storm. The cases are very close to each other in construction, but the Storm is just a bit less expensive. Both have lifetime warranties. I thought I would opt for the Storm to save some cash and get to know them a bit better. A Pelican 1750 was opened on one side of my pool table and the Storm 3300 on the other side. This is what I found when I compared the two gun cases:
The Pelican case is much heavier in weight, by almost 6.5 pounds. It weighs almost 26 pounds with nothing but foam in it. It feels much more substantial. The lid does not flex when opened as much as the Storm, which has less thickness all around. But 6 pounds is a lot to carry. Advantage, Storm.
The middle hinges on the Pelican gun case are much more secure and enclosed than on the Storm. Advantage, Pelican.
The Storm has a total of 6 latches. Four in the front and one on either end. The latches are equipped with a center button that is pushed to relieve the tension so the latch can be opened with ease. The Pelican has only four latches, but they are substantially sturdier. They are a two piece design and can also be opened easily. With the combination of the thicker material the Pelican is made out of, and the sturdier latches, I would say overall toughness goes to the Pelican. The older Pelicans had a one piece latch that was a bear to open and close. I’m glad those are gone. Advantage, Pelican.
The carry handle is wide and covered with rubber on the Storm, making it very comfortable to pull. The Pelican handle is a bit sturdier but not very comfortable. Advantage, even.
The dimensions of the cases are almost, but not quite, identical. Advantage, even.
The wheels on both have similar construction and glide smoothly even heavily loaded. Both are absolutely superb. The wheels on my well-worn Pelican cases still spin freely after many trips to states, countries, and continents. Hard to improve on this. Advantage, even.
The Pelican case has thicker material around the padlock holes, and also has metal inserts around the hole. Advantage, Pelican.
The hard plastic sticker meant to be meticulously and permanently affixed to the Storm case was put on crooked. Lack of attention by one single monkey pretty much set the tone against Storm. Would you buy a new car with the dealer sticker pasted crooked and with wrinkles in it? It’s only aesthetics, but my friend is paying a lot of money for a lifetime case. It should appear as a $200.00 case, not something just slapped together. Terrible, terrible. This alone could be a deal breaker for many, not just compulsives like me.
Now here’s the real deal breaker with the Storm case. I usually put my guns in a case so the right side of the stock is up, with the muzzle to the right, and the butt stock an inch away from the left inside edge of the case. Most of the guns I travel with have a serial number on the right side of the gun. When getting checked in by airport TSA, the easier it is to pass through expediently, the better. If your gun doesn’t have to come out of the case, better still. When your gun is in the case like just described, the heaviest part of the case is on your left. With a Pelican case, the carry handle is on the muzzle end. Therefore, the heavy part of your gun (and whatever other heavy equipment you’ve included) is over the wheels. Like my Grandpa the carpenter said, “Let the saw do the work.” The analogy translates to: let the wheels do the work. Why have the heavy part close to the handle where you have to use arm strength to muscle it around? Answer. Don’t. It’s stupid. The Storm case has the carry handle on the opposite side as the Pelican, the wrong side, at least when I put my gun in the way I like. This was the ultimate reason I returned my Storm and bought another Pelican 1750. If you don’t care how your gun is positioned inside the case, this is a moot point.
Conclusions: The Pelican has the carry handle on the correct side for a weight-down carry. This is critical to me. If both cases had the handle in the proper place for me, and the Storm case didn’t have the stupid sticker on crooked, I would have bought the Storm for my friend Jerry because it’s lighter. By quite a bit. Not as sturdy, but Jerry isn’t traveling the world, he just wanted a good case. The Storm 3300 is not a good case, but an excellent one, and a bit less expensive. I don’t think it is as sturdy as the Pelican 1750, but I wouldn’t expect any issues with any hard use of any kind. Since I never know what to expect on whatever trip I’m on, I will opt for the Pelican cases, the same ones I have always relied on. Simply put, the Pelican 1750 case is the best gun case for a hard use traveler I have ever seen. You only have to pay for it once. The warranty is “You break it, we replace it, forever!” A tongue in cheek caveat to that warranty is “except for shark attack and children under three.” Funny.