OK, before someone goes there, I don't "hunt" from my ATV, I use it to get to the trailhead, park it and hit the woods. Saves lots of abuse on the truck.
Anyway, I'm looking for the best way to carry a "mid weight" rig on the quad with a high level of protection. I want to be able to leave the bipod attached. I don't like the idea of the open "clip on" gun clamps that clamp to the rack, seems like it would leave the rifle far too susceptable to damage. Do some of the "gun boot" carriers work well? I haven't looked at how they support the gun, how they are padded, or if you can keep the bipod on board.
brian, The "boot" type of carriers are the best for protection as you correctly surmised. However, they do preclude leaving the bipod attached to the rifle. I carry my gun in the boot and attach the bipod (if I'm using it that day) when I get off to hunt. I use the Kolpin Gun Boot IV, coupled with their slick mounting system, it is convienent and works very well. I hope this helps ya a bit.
Good shooting and God Bless,
I was very lucky last fall. I just had one of those lower priced plastic and metal double gun cases. They call them double gun, but it takes a case like that to fit a 28 inch 30-378 with large scope, Harris bypod, with a couple of 20 boxes of shells, and a cleaning and oiling kit.
Just bungie it down on the front or rear. You do gain a little width if your in narrow trail country, but that's not usually a problem out west.
later on with the quads up on the trailer pulling them down a road the 30-378 came off. 9 days later a person on horse found the gun case where it bounced down off the road and into the brush. The case had dings, but nothing in the case got hurt. Even the scope was still right on. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
.270 Ackley improved 29 inch 1.250 dia. target barrel 7mm STW 28 inch 1.250 target barrel. I also love my .458 mag for varmints and the biggest game in the world.
In my oppinion there are NO suitable gun carriers on the market for a longer and more expensive rifle. PERIOD. I have considered every one of them I could find on the web with no luck. As a result this last deer season I transported my rifle in a heavy plastic clamshell type case and bungied it to the front rack. It does add width and it was somewhat slow to get the gun out but it wasn't too bad and it did protect the gun.
But that was a quick fix. Not a solution.
I have some ideas on the subject that I think are more reasonable that afford a high level of protection for whatever size gun you want to carry but I'm going to try to make a few prototypes and then hopefuly a few bucks with them. (fingers crossed)
In the meantime try making a mount that looks like lower case y so the rifle rides at or slightly behind the rear of the front rack but not in the way of the handlebars. Then make a rectangle frame that is big enough to go around the total profile of your gun and a little more. Weld some expanded sheetmetal to it and mount it to the rack firmly so it will run interference for your rifle against twigs and branches. Then just follow rule #1. (don't drive like an idiot)
This will mess things up for handlebar mounted headlights but that is what my other idea solves.
Good luck and dont be afraid to fire up the welder to make what you need or at least buy a 6 pack for the neighborhood welder if you can find him. The market is chock full of gear that is for those who never really (REALLY REALLY) use it. Espcially for ATVs. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
And FYI I am a (walking) dissabled hunter and I DO hunt from my ATV at times. Permit and all. I need the gun holder you are talking about.
What part of Idaho are you in? I'm in the Boise area.
GRAVITY. It's not just a good idea. It's the LAW!
I use the gun boot type carriers and they work good. This picture is with the Plano Gunslingers, I have since bought their soft case inserts to give the gun more protection. Both the Plano and the Kolpin have models with the soft case insert and I would recommend them to give the most protection. I use a Versa Pod Bipod and leave the adapter on the gun and just remove the bipod itself which only takes a couple of seconds to slip on. And yes I shoot prairie dogs from my ATV and carry two rifles. Sometimes carry my shooting bench also.
Brian, I spent quite some time last year trying to find the ideal ATV rifle carrier. We usually travel with ATV's to our hunting areas in the dark, but we also move around some during the day as well. So,ideal for me was a quickly accessible gun case capable of protecting a 50.25" long rifle with bipod and scope with turrets, and did not significantly widen my ATV footprint. The short response is I could not find anything that would work well.
I thought I came close with one (the brand eludes me at the moment but I believe it had a cajun ring to its name). It allowed me to slip the rifle in with the bipod attached and it was long enough to handle my rifle. However, the scope and bolt did not fit (I had to start cutting) and when I put the rifle in the whole thing sagged at the ATV mounting system! Needless to say I scrapped that one and chalked it up to lessons learned!
I considered using a case like what Budlight mentioned as, in my opinion, this would likely provide the best overall rifle protection, but we travel on some pretty tight trails and I could not figure out an effective way to carry the case parallel with the ATV. Also, this type of case is also fairly slow to access (of course this just might be the justification I need for a new pistol?!). I am considering some possibilities with bolting one on to the side of my ATV rack with some internal modifications.
I ended up buying a Kolpin and simply remove my bipod each time. The rifle is not quickly accessible in my view unless you leave the Kolpin top off and treat the thing like a scabbard. I enclose my rifle but at least my rifle is protected, which is the first priority. This is by no means what I would consider the ideal setup, but it was as close as I could find.
Forked Horn: I can't wait to see what you come up with. Please share it with us as soon as you can - and hopefully before next season!
It's interesting to see that others have similar issues...and OK solutions. I've got one of the "double gun" cases that just fits my Coyote. I've been toying with building a bracket for the quad that would mount this at an angle like the gun boot, angled off the back, with the hinge down. Some of our areas are pretty narrow and brushy, I'd rather not hang it sideways on the racks, hanging over the sides of the quad. OK, the problem here is that the rifle will fall out when you open the latches. I think I could make some padded hooks to support the rifle when the case is open, the compression of the foam should hold it once the case is closed and keep it from bouncing around. This wouldn't be real fast to get at, but might be a decent compromise between protection and speed. My case is kind of a cheepie, it wouldn't break my heart to drill some holes in it and try this.
How well do the Koplin's support the rifle and keep it from vibrating around and wearing on the finish? I haven't really looked at one in detail.