Bracken: Just A Working Man With His Tools
Matt Bracken, author of the Enemies Foreign and Domestic trilogy and the upcoming novel Castigo Cay, sends:
I was out for a routine morning run on trash day last week, and snagged this empty plastic tool box off a pile of rubbish set to be collected. At one time it carried a "saws-all" type electric tool. It's very rugged yet light, with good hinges and clasps. This particular plastic case is 24 inches long, and it can contain a 31" overall carbine, broken into upper and lower and nested. Plus a few magazines.
As a novelist I have free rein to imagine every type of tactical scenario or trick. Sometimes I put them into my books, sometimes I keep them to myself, and sometimes I decide to share them. I didn't set out to make the compact carbine carrier, it was found trash put to a new use. I already had the foam sheeting and the other parts. All I needed to buy was some contact cement.
The hardest part of the job was cutting out the stiff plastic dividers molded into the sides of the case to hold the old saws-all in place. The muzzle sticks about 1/4 of an inch out the side of the case. It just missed being a clean, perfect fit by that much. If you like the idea, you need to play around with assorted cases and various weapons. Old tool cases are readily available at thrift stores and pawn shops for a nominal cost.
You can't tell from the picture and I wanted to spare you too much boring "how I made it" detail, but there is one sheet of one-inch foam below the gun parts, covered with a piece of denim scrap. Two sheets of foam on the top lid, with just that L shaped cutout in the nearer sheet of foam. That's where the overlapped grip and the white light on the forward rail make a high point. Then I cover the weapon with another sheet of denim before closing up the case. Without even trying, it also holds 3 magazines - you can see 2 of them.
I can toss this rig anywhere and it won't get a second look. Ditto for carrying it between vehicle and whereever without attracting attention with an obvious "assault bag" complete with velcro-flapped magazine holders.
Just a working man with his tools.