We’ve never been fond of hard cases with cut foam interiors because they aren’t flexible. As soon as everything gets perfectly adjusted, a better scope comes out or you suddenly need to throw a pistol in the box for a flight to a match. As such, we like products that give us flexibility.
Our favorite nylon products introduced this past year are from the good folks at TAB GEAR, a family-run business operating in Texas. The man leading the crew is Tony Burkes. He’s honest, fair and loves to shoot, so it’s no surprise that Burkes is one of our favorite people.
TAB GEAR noticed the trend toward multi-caliber rifles and came up with a solution that makes sense. It’s hard to travel with a multi-caliber rifle because there are a ton of expensive metal parts floating around in the case or gun box. Extra barrels have precision-cut threads (often at both ends) that don’t do well when they rattle around like maracas in a Pelican case with other equally expensive metal parts.
TAB GEAR now offers a padded nylon barrel sleeve that is available with and without an attached pocket to house the corresponding bolt body. There is just enough padding in the sleeve to protect what’s inside without making the sleeve bulky. The sleeve closes with a flap over the opening to keep dirt and debris from getting into the barrel. We put an Accuracy International (AI) .300 Win. Mag. barrel with AI brake in the sleeve and had no problem with fit. The AI muzzlebrake is the size of a small pinecone, so most brakes will certainly fit.
The sleeve is also a great solution because it pairs and protects the barrel and bolt body together. No other sleeves on the market do this. The sleeve also saves time at the range by keeping the right parts together. If the bolt body and barrel are too thick when folded on top of each other, there is enough slack in the flap that the body can be moved to the side of the barrel. This makes it easy to throw the barrel/bolt body on top of a rifle and still close the case without damaging anything.
Another new product is the Magnum Bullet Binder. The original Bullet Binder, designed for short-action cartridges, holds 40 rounds in individual elastic loops. The Magnum Binder holds 20 rounds of anything from .30-’06 to .338 Lapua Mag.
The Bullet Binder is made from quality nylon and hard plastic backers. The backers give the binder its rigidity, and the nylon is the same high-quality component that TAB uses on all of its products. Part of the case that folds over has a clear plastic layer on the inside, creating a pocket where the shooter can store load data. A small attached bungee cord and pull-tab slip easily over the entire binder to keep everything closed, and a section of Velcro covers the binder’s back. Velcro-backed tapes can be attached to the binder’s spine to indicate what’s inside when the binder is closed.
As popular as the original has been, the Magnum will probably do even better. Shooters who fuss over their ammunition (that’s us!) and baby it to prevent the concentricity issues that arise from ammo rattling around will love the new bullet binder.
STR8 LACED BAG
TAB GEAR’s newest shooting bag is done in collaboration with Str8 Laced. Str8 Laced designed the Str8Laced Ultra Light Rear Bag a few years back but had a hard time meeting production demands. TAB GEAR now handles the production, and the bags are still awesome. They have a lightweight fill and can be used on their sides or edges to create three different heights. The bag is most often used as a rear bag, a barricade bag and under an elbow to help shore up weirdo shooting positions that occur in the field and competition. There are nylon straps to secure the bag to your hand or rifle, and bungees on two edges to compress the bag, should the shooter desire. This wellthought-out bag is popular with competitive shooters and snipers alike.
TAB GEAR is having a busy year, and our guess is that things aren’t going to slow down. They make great products and have an awesome attitude, so we wish them the best and hope they have another fantastic year.
For more information, visit www.tabgear.com.