I have a confession. I don’t like to stand out. That’s a pretty funny comment from a guy who sells wild-ass T-shirts, eh? Agreed. But the truth is, we all can’t go through life tac’d out like G.I. Joe. There are times and places for everything.
I wish I could take credit for the tennis-bag /rifle-bag trick but that would be a lie. An old co-worker and friend of mine introduced the idea to me some years ago. He found it advantageous to have a low-profile bag option for certain calls outs and mission sets. At the time he showed it to me, he was carrying a AK with a folding stock inside a pretty small tennis bag. A very slick setup.
Why didn’t I get an AK and do that? Thus we get into one of my peccadilloes….I hate AKs. Generally. And at the time, getting a small AR into one of these bags wasn’t really on the table — Special note:this is pre-HK416 days. Yes, there were some companies who had developed a weird folding AR stock that had a safety pin in the event one fired it, folded. Accidentally. It trashes the stock. As in done for the day. But at least the BCG didn’t come flying out and whack you in the noggin. End result it was a stupid idea. The other option was to separate your AR lower from your upper while in storage. Again…not optimal. I generally find that people who find either of these two solutions acceptable really aren’t serious about the subject to begin with. Sorry. They’re playing. It’s a storage option. Not a working option. Nothing more. And I have been surprised by the recent trend of some of some more reputable companies to revive the separate upper from lower thing as a working option. Dumb. But I digress…
Some years later, a SCAR 16 was foisted on me by work. Pretty cool. AR ergo’s but an AK like operating system. And a folding stock. Hmmmm…..it didn’t take my two-celled lizard brain much time to recall the, “Old AK in the Tennis Bag Trick”! And off to the races I went.
I’ve never played tennis. But in the course of my work travels, I have been in and around some of he world’s fanciest tennis venues and some of the world’s best tennis players. As in #1’s. Or so I’m told. I can’t stand to watch tennis. Playing it might be fun for the workout and the sweat factor. But anything else regarding watching it? I’ll be up on the roof getting ready to jump off.
But one thing I had noticed about tennis bags: they are everywhere. Especially in the trunks of cars! And if you are anywhere near a “tennis place”, seeing a guy pulling tennis bags out of the truck or slung over his shoulder doesn’t get a second glance. My lizard brain is getting excited at this point! I’m going to get me a tennis bag!
I won’t bore you with all the machinations of tennis bags. Suffice it to say there are A LOT of options. Every tennis bag I found has handles. All have at least one shoulder strap. And the larger ones actually have back-pack straps to…I’m not sure why. To hike with I guess? But for carrying a gun that is a great feature since it masks any possible “weight tells”. Also you will see some tennis bags have foil liners to protect items in adverse weather! And some bags are expandable in width and length.
So don’t discount a tennis bag. Even the “low-profile” tactical rifle bags attract attention. Especially when laying in trunks of cars. But tennis bags are a known quantity and people tend to skip over them. As for price, think about searching eBay or Craigslist in your area. How much can a old tennis bag cost? Even a nice one? New, quite a bit. Used they are a dime a dozen. Also I wish to stress if you have a fair amount of equipment or gear that you also need to keep in your bag, there are some tennis bags that are quite large
So there you have it. If you are in the market for some rifle bags, maybe this is something you can keep in your box of tricks? Even if you are a regular civilian shooter, I suspect very quickly you’ll appreciate having the low-profile option.
“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”