Guns and water don’t mix. But for some reason, most gun cases do nothing to keep moisture at bay. The porous material actually sucks water in, trapping your firearm in a damp environment that accelerates the formation of rust. I do most of my duck hunting in saltwater, so there’s added danger from the paddle splashes that occur when traveling in small boats: salt corrodes anything it comes into contact with. If you don’t believe that, take a look under every car in the Northeast and then try to tell me otherwise. There are some excellent hard-sided cases that do an outstanding job of protecting your gun from water, and even from the rigors of baggage handlers. But those cases are too bulky to come out in the field with you—and weigh enough that you wouldn’t want drag them along anyway. A waterproof sheath-style case represents an excellent compromise, providing protection without bulk or weight. If you’re looking to keep your shotgun protected from water and salt, L.L. Bean’s Waterproof Gun Case is an excellent choice. Besides shedding water, this case will keep your gun afloat if you do manage to flip your canoe. How It’s Made
The case is constructed of a polyurethane coated nylon that is thick to the touch, giving the impression that the fabric will last through many tough days in the field. The coated nylon is much heavier than the material found in most dry bags; the case weighs in at a little over a pound because of the substantial fabric covering the padded foam core. The seams are welded, so water won’t find its way in through a needle hole.
The fold over closure is similar to the ones found on the dry bags favored by white water rafters. If it can stop the intrusion of a Class IV rapid, it can shrug off rainclouds. To form a watertight seal, you simply fold the top over itself a couple of times and buckle the strap.
When closed, the case will accommodate guns up to 54 inches long so it will fit guns equipped with extended chokes. My semi is fitted with a 26-inch barrel and an extended Kicks tube and there is plenty of room to spare.
The case will float a typical shotgun when closed. L.L. Bean doesn’t specify how heavy of a gun it will keep topside, but I tested the case with both a Benelli Super Black Eagle II and a CZ Sharp-Tail, both of which weigh just a hair over seven pounds. Based on what I saw, I think it would support guns up to eight pounds or more.
The shoulder strap is adjustable, with a wide gap between the minimum and maximum positions. This allows me to carry my shotgun diagonally across my back, which limits movement less and permits me to throw my blind bag over the opposite shoulder for walk-in hunts. The strap can also be snugged over a folded layout blind, or removed if not needed.
If you want to treat your duck gun better than a boat paddle, consider one of L.L. Bean’s Waterproof Gun Cases. They’ll keep your gun dry, and keep it floating if it happens to find it’s way into the drink.
Retail prices are set at $89, but Bean runs sales with some frequency.