âOK…now where did I put those last 10 loads I made to try in my Savage .243? The ones I just had on the bench…â
I say this to myself quite frequently, along with other phrases that I wonât expound on here. I lose a lot of stuff. Or, rather, I misplace it. I learned a long time ago to at least try to organize my handloads â I’ve got a collection of handloads some of which dates back 30 years. The best way to be able to find a certain load, I finally learned, was to store them in boxes made for that purpose. The best ammo boxes, Iâve found, come from MTM. Their Case-Gard line of shooting accessories have helped me keep my sanity many times as I look for specific load recipes Iâd put together.
Located in Dayton, Ohio, MTM has been making shooting accessories since 1968. It is a family-owned business, and says (on their website) that their products have stemmed from needs that they have discovered on their own or by suggestions from users. Their products are really well thought-out…I can see them being produced because of a need. Shooters do have some pretty specific needs, and itâs nice that thereâs a company out there addressing those needs.
What Do They Make?
Here is a (tiny) screen shot of what they make…
Grand total, 221 items. Now, I know that some are listed more than once in the different categories, but even if we take about 10% away, thatâs still around 200 products that MTM makes. Thatâs a whole lot of items to help out shooters!
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Now, For Some Specifics…
I had them send me five items to test so I could write about them. Of course, Iâd used their products for at least three decades so I knew what quality I was going to find…I just wanted to try some things Iâd not had much experience with. So, I had them send me:
- A 20-round rifle ammo box;
- A 100-round rifle ammo box;
- A 4-gun pistol case;
- A Shoulder-Gard rifle rest;
- A portable shooting table.
Letâs look at them in some detail.
Rifle Ammo Boxes
I got one each, 20-round and 100-round box. I wanted to see how securely they held the rounds, and to look at the hinge. The hinge is the key, Iâve found. It doesnât matter how well-built the rest of the box is…if the hinge breaks, itâs over. Here they are…
The 20-round box uses a molded hinge and is caliber-specific. If you shoot anything from a .17 to a .45-70 or larger, they have a box for you. Hereâs the hundred-rounder:
Again, a molded hinge but this time we have individual cartridge-holding slots with âfingersâ at the bottom in case you want to insert the rounds bullet-down. Iâve appreciated the labels since I first started buying Case-Gard items. They also include a cartridge fitting chart:
The R-100 is just one of several different type of boxes they make…
Hereâs the handgun version of the above box:
Here are their best selling handgun boxes:
I also wanted to try a multi-gun pistol box. I got the four-gun tactical pistol case…
I like the simplicity of this box. It has two sturdy latches and the foam is cut for four guns with four extra cuts for magazines. (They make other sizes). This would be a great way to store your guns in your safe…the foam would not attract moisture and would protect the guns. This pistol case would be a great way to transport your guns to and from the range. The protection they would be given should cause you to relax a bit…the guns are well-padded and secured from being jostled around.
It might be well to mention the MTM warranty at this point…the molded-hinge products and everything else has a 5-year warranty, with the living-hinge items receiving a 10-year warranty. We are directed to send faulty items back to MTM for replacement. (I assume âliving hingeâ means the hinges with rods in slots, not the molded variety. The two ammo cases above use molded hinges, with the 4-gun box using a living hinge).
Shoulder-Gard Rifle Rest
Letâs take a look at the Shoulder-Gard rifle rest â this is one of several types of rest they make â and see how it helps with recoil…
Notice the strap at the rear of the rest. You place the stock of the rifle in this âslingâ and it holds the rifle fairly securely as you shoot. The strap is anchored on the underside of the rest, so it canât move. The compartment in the center has a removable lid â my son has one of these and he put lead ingots inside to help with recoil. Whatever you can get in there that will help weigh it down is good…that will help mitigate recoil.
Note the adjustment up front. You have a screw with a large head that you can loosen with your fingers to move the threaded column up or down for rough adjustment, then tighten a bit when the column is where you want it. Then you use the collar with the long fingers on it to allow fine-tuning of the threaded column before you finally tighten the screw down, in case you need to raise or lower the scopeâs crosshairs just a mite. Weâve used my sonâs Shoulder Gard over the years. I had one sent to me to see how theyâd changed it over the years…they really havenât. Youâve heard the saying âif it ainât broke, donât fix itâ — that applies here. This is one pretty useful gadget. Add in the recoil-lowering strap and itâs well worth its price. Just put some weight in it to get the maximum recoil reducing effect.
Notice: Here is another shop where you can buy the rest
Portable Shooting Table
Now, for the item I most wanted to try â the portable shooting table.
Hereâs what it comes in…you have their address and a photo of the assembled table all in one.
The table is made from the same material their other goods are made from and is very decently engineered. The legs fold down like those popular white tables that we know and love (because they weigh about half of what those old-fashioned wooden tables we used to use weighed), and it is sturdy. Here are a couple of photos…
Notice the easy-drop legs and the handles/slots on each side that make it easy to grab the table to move it. It is very light weight, but it sits very well and is sturdy. Here it is with the legs down:
As you can see, this would be a nice table to toss in the back of the truck and take to the field for some long-distance practice…or a groundhog hunt. It is light yet it holds the rifle securely. Hereâs a close-up of the rear rest…
To Sum Up
No matter what area of shooting youâre interested in â¦ rifle, handgun or shotgun â¦ MTM Case-Gard has at least one product that will make your life a bit easier. From a box to hold your loaded ammo, to a loading scale to help you load that ammo, to a table to shoot it off of, they seem to have a product that will do most anything you need done where your shooting hobby is concerned.
If youâve not tried an MTM-Case-Gard product, you owe it to yourself to pick something up today. Their stuff is not expensive, but…it works. Thatâs all that counts. Sure, you could spend more on say, a portable shooting table, but it really wonât do anything that this one will. (I know how important a portable table can be…I remember when Shooting Timesâ Rick Jamison published plans to make a table out of one piece of 4×8â plywood. It was not very portable, but it was a start. This one is a whole lot lighter and easier to move).
Talk to MTM if you have any questions about their products or to request a catalog…I donât think youâll be sorry if you do. As always, leave a comment below and get out for some shooting. Stay safe!
Hell of a price for the rest, Mike, compared to a Caldwell Lead Sled.
David, it should be much less than that…too many 9s, I guess! Here is a shop you can check out.
Got you beat Mike. I have beem using these boxes from just about the first day they hit the shelves of the gun shop I started working in back in 1970. Been using them ever since. I don’t know how many I have today , Excellent products . (I use 10 MTM reloading blocks at the bench; but don’t tell anybody).
Howard, your secret’s safe here! 🙂 Glad you find them useful, and thanks for writing.
I clicked on the “Buy on Amazon” button for some of the ammo boxes just to see what they cost & was pleasantly surprised to see they cost less than I expected!
I have several inexpensive military-style ammo boxes, smaller plastic ones & a couple 50-cal. steel ones, but they don’t have liners or dividers. I labeled ’em so I can quickly see which type of ammo is inside, but the shotgun shells are loose & the other types of ammo are in the boxes they came in. The ammo boxes seal tightly so they keep moisture out, but are certainly not as handy as the MTM boxes.
But I will mention an Apache 1000 case I got for a pistol, on sale @ Harbor Freight. Amazon shows it here.
The foam block in the bottom side is sliced into cubes 5/8″ x 5/8″ x 3/4″ so you can pick some out to make a shape your pistol, camera, whatever, will fit down into. At 1st glace you don’t notice the slice marks & you can leave the foam block as-is, but it’s easy to customize for whatever you want to protect. I believe you could throw the case against a concrete wall as hard as you can & what’s inside would not be damaged.
And since I was the manufacturing engineer in two factories that make products from different kinds of foam, I’ll comment on the foam in the 4-pistol case you like. Appears to be Ethafoam, a closed-cell foam that’s tough & durable: https://sealedair.com/product-packaging/cushioning-solutions/foam-packaging/ethafoam-plank-polyethylene-foam
Open-cell foam will hold moisture, but closed-cell foam cannot. And Ethafoam is easy to trim with a sharp knife, so if a pistol or magazine doesn’t fit quite right in the existing slots, you could trim them for a better fit. Over time, Ethafoam will conform to what you store in it, but it tends to “spring back” to its original shape.
Art, thanks for the engineer’s viewpoint. One of our sons is a manufacturing engineer, and he notices things like this, too. I’m always glad to hear from someone who knows., and glad the MTM products work for you. Thanks for writing!
Interesting but isn’t that a little pricey compared to a lead sled?
Jack, I’ve seen this rest for $55 and under online. Check this shop out. Thanks for writing.