Rethinking how I lock my rifle bag

| August 13, 2014 | 4 Comments

Last December I wrote a post about keeping your bag locked while in public. I rode on public transit and worked in very close quarters for quite some time, and I didn’t want people getting access to my SBR AK47. As time went on and I changed jobs, I kept the habit of locking my bag all the time, even when I wasn’t around random people or co-workers. I also keep the bag locked when I’m at home and the She Shepherd’s kids are staying with us instead of their dad.

Anyway, one thing that’s become evident as I’ve practiced more and more with my EDC bags is that unlocking the lock under duress¬†sucks¬†. This is something you may appreciate conceptually, but until you drill with a locked bag over and over again you don’t realize how big of a pain in the ass it is.

I tried little things, like only moving the final digit instead of scrambling all of them. It was helpful, but I also found that under stressful situations (e.g., my partner shooting quickly while other observers screamed at me) I would thumb two digits at a time.

One day the She Shepherd looked over and said simply, “why don’t you just keep it unlocked when you have it with you?”

“Well, because, uh, you know, I, it’s not. Fuck, that’s a good idea.”

So for the last two months or so I’ve treated the bag like I do my handgun: if it’s not on me it’s on lockdown. For example, when I leave the house the bag is unlocked, because it’s on my body. I leave it unlocked on my motorcycle top case or in my Jeep. When I arrive, the bag goes back on my shoulder. I enter wherever I am going and when I set the bag down I lock it. I unlock it when I leave again, and keep it unlocked until I get home.

This has worked really well, and cuts the deployment time by at least a half if not 75% (depending on how well I unlock the bag). One bonus to keeping the bag unlocked with the lock still on it is that it makes for a giant zipper pull. I’m working on some video to share with you, and you’ll see what I mean.

Anyway, nothing earth shattering, just an evolution of a concept from actually living with and training with a bag-carried PDW.


About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.

4 Comments on "Rethinking how I lock my rifle bag"

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  1. Stephen says:

    I love your posts that deal with the EDC of your SBR. Thank you for documenting this stuff.

  2. B R Kurtz B R Kurtz says:

    Wow, I was gonna suggest a couple of locks with fast opening options; BUT the obvious answer is just as you have posted. Sometimes the obvious answer is clouded by the way think things should be. GOOD WORK

  3. Rand says:

    Thank you for your insights and posts.
    A topic that you likely already know of, and may have written about.
    regarding the security of locked packs: Zippered closures using coil type zippers, the lock area can be bypassed and the zipper opened by sticking the point of a Bic type pen into the zipper and working it both directions. I do not know it this works all types of zippers, but it has worked on those that I’ve tested. The locked pulls can then be moved back an forth over the opened area, re-sealing it, as though the pack had never been opened.

  4. Tom says:

    So…a little off-topic, but this bag seems to be a great compromise in backpack vs. shoulderbag:

    This bag is a backpack, but does not require you to ‘stop’ and be ‘rooted’ in order to access the contents – you can do so walking. When standing in line or on the subway, you can swing the bag around in front of you. Finally, the zippers are semi-hidden, which makes it difficult for another person to access the bag and steal the contents.

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