Hard cases have become an effective tool in equipment and valuable protection; in certain industries, for example expedition photography, it has been a vital necessity for sustaining the lifespan of fragile instruments in harsh environments.
With the development and expansion of industries and activities which involve the use, transportation or storage of valuable and expensive equipment there has been a growing need for an effective and reliable system that could provide this degree of protection.
When it comes to the firearm industry there is also a fourth factor that corroborates the need of a hard case: the security. Whether it is for travel for a match or tactical training away from home, for staying overnight in a hotel, or simply for raising the level of security of a truck gun the implementation of a tool such as a hard case could mean the difference between a gun in the hands of a good guy and a gun in the hands of a bad guy.
This contemporary firearm training [nomad] lifestyle that involves a much more dynamic and mobile approach to tactical training, in which users often times move domestically in the US requires a high degree of protection, security and practicality. A tool such as a high quality hard case becomes almost as a “mobile safe”.
Because of the extremely high quality standards, Explorer cases are able to sustain the shift of action from an everyday “urban” approach of protection from iniquitous acts to the conventional protective purpose from the elements out in the field; which is the actual origin of this type of case.
Depending on type of use, time of exposure and other key climatic factors, the field can be an extremely demanding environment to which only very few quality-focused cases can withstand.
The gasket’s design is usually a noticeable failure point for water-tightness; in order to overcome this possible issue, Explorer, has focused on the manufacturing process rather than the design itself. Instead of utilizing the ubiquitous rubber-polymer tube of which the connection point could potentially be the weakest point, they have implemented a system that extrudes a foam-like material directly into the gasket housing. This innovative manufacturing process has proven to be effective and reliable.
The IP67 waterproofness rating and the fact that it is retained without compromise throughout the lifespan of the case is directly related to the ruggedness of this gasket design, compared also to the weaker hollow-tube design.
Temperatures play a key role in the longevity of a gasket or sealant and Explorer does not utilize rubberized material O-ring or glue. As the temperature is decreased the rubber passes from a soft (easily deformed) and elastic state to a more rigid state and finally to a brittle glass-like condition. On the other hand glues tend to a detachment process when reaching higher temperatures, as well as freeze towards glaciation.
The water tightness is achieved also through an intrinsically mechanical strength of the closure design. The latches are sized to obtain a strong, secure and constant pressure along the perimeter between the case and the lid. Despite this the opening and closing process are facilitated mainly by two factors: the double-action of the mechanism (with two pivotal points) and the relatively large surface of the latch.
The hinges mechanism is reliable and the action is smooth and repeatable.
The hinges are designed to optimize the efficiency on the field by opening up to 90Deg and by staying open without the necessity of two-hand manipulation. Unlike other products on the market, the Explorer case does not tip over when opened empty…
Differently from similar products on the market, once closed, the Explorer cases latches do not make any [annoying] noise, which (even though it is not carried into direct combat action) is still, in our opinion, inappropriate in a “Tactical” weapons case.
One aspect in which we really wanted to focus was the tolerances between the parts of the assembly. The very high grade of precision in the dimensions of the lid, main case and metal rod protects the mechanism from any external agent, even after prolonged use in dusty and sandy environments.
The smoothness of the hinge mechanism is usually a substantial differentiation between high quality cases and less quality after some use in the field.
The case is provided with three handles, a primary, larger, and two secondary smaller. The handles are well built and very durable, the injection-molded polymer is tough and does not bend under the heavy load of firearms. Explorer produces all hinges with extreme accuracy; even after prolonged field use, with the case exposed to the elements, the movement of the handle is solid and repeatable, and the metal rod does not show weak points or corrosion. Even after the testing and evaluation process the handles stay in position, which is an explicit indication of quality.
The two secondary handles locate at the exact opposite side from each other provide a very comfortable two-men carrying solution, especially with heavier weapon systems. Of course with the 9413 one could only fit enough items, but with the larger models this feature could be vital.
In the central portion of the case, between the primary-handle attaching points, are located the air valve and the luggage nametag. The manual pressure release valve is a key component for operation with variable barometric excursion. The valve is designed with an internal stop ring, for preventing the user from overrunning it and completely extract it.
The nametag is protected by a translucent polymer shield and is only accessible when the case is open.
Four latches are located relatively to the four hinges of the case. Next to the four latches are positioned four padlock-able points, and with two of them being metal plated there is the possibility to safely lock the case with either standard padlocks or TSA approved ones. Explorer offers three different padlocks, a combination, a heavy-duty brass with key and TSA-approved. The combination padlock is designed with the chamfering of the edge inherently constructed in the dimensions, covering the entire pin (for enhanced security from tools such as bolt cutters) as well as tightly securing it and preventing it from swinging, which may be causing noise.
The case is provided with ball bearing wheels that enable a more comfortable and effective transportation of heavier items. The wheels are exposed enough to allow the case to be pulled from a wide range of angles, but the overall dimensional extremities still allow the case to stand in the upright position very solidly, even when loaded with firearms. The wheels are designed to be utilized also for pulling the case from a horizontal surface with an extremely low angle; this provides a high level of mobility when loading or unloading weapons from trucks of vehicles.
Even after carrying the case in all types of terrains for several months, the wheels spin smoothly and freely, do not show any stress point or failure points, and are still very silent.
The foam insert set consist of a convoluted panel for the lid, two pre-cubed sections and a thin stabilizing layer for the body. The pre-cubed foam allows for a high degree of customization by the user and seems to withstand weight and time.
As for the material utilized the main case sections are manufactured from an injection molded copolymer Polypropylene compound, which seems to have a good balance between rigidity and elasticity, for maximum toughness and protection. Throughout the heat of the summertime, the case has not shown any brittleness from the extensive direct sunlight exposure.
On the bottom side of the case are located eight rubberized feet for better stability both on surfaces and for stacking.
The Explorer Cases 9413 comes in three color-ways: Black, Desert Sand and Military Green, all available with or without the foam insert.
Below are some details and specifications:
Length: 939 mm | 36.97 in.
Width: 352 mm | 13.85 in.
Depth: 137 mm | 5.40 in.
Lid: 43 mm | 1.69 in.
Base: 94 mm | 3.70 in.
Length: 989 mm | 38.94 in.
Width: 415 mm | 16.34 in.
Depth: 157 mm | 6.18 in.
Weight (empty): 6.70 Kg
Weight (with foam): 7.70 Kg
For more details please visit: ExplorerCases.com