SKB Cases: The King of Hard Gun Cases

— Reid MooreCADRE Dispatch

Guns are expensive. Really expensive. As such, I like to keep my guns and gear protected with the very best hard-shell cases.

Factory pistol cases work if you don’t have much else, but if you’re anything like me, you travel with your guns from time to time and depend on TSA-approved pistol cases to get the job done. I’m here to tell you, though, that not all “TSA-approved” cases are created equal.

I’ve seen cases bow, crack, and warp due to harsh handling by baggage handlers, and I’ve even heard of some folks’ guns getting pretty banged up in the process too. While it’s never happened to me, personally, it doesn’t sit well with me, so I only put my trust (and money) in cases that have been proven to go through 40 different kinds of hell without failing.

That is, can the case withstand being submerged? How about sitting in direct sunlight in a hot car? What about falling off the tailgate of my truck in a muddy parking lot?

Apparently, I’m a sadist.

So, naturally, when I heard about the iSeries 1006-3 Custom Single Pistol Case from SKB Cases, I was eager to put it to the test. How did it fare? Would I trust it with my collection of handguns? Let’s get to it.

Construction and Features

When the iSeries 1006-3 Custom Single Pistol Case arrived at my front door, I gave it a pretty thorough inspection. I wanted to see if there were any cracks or obvious impurities from the factory.

Constructed of high-strength polypropylene copolymer resin, it became pretty obvious rather quickly that the case was solid as a rock; smooth and free of any visible issues.

The corners are fully reinforced (that’s important), the TSA-approved padlock grommets are concentric and rather beefy, and the hinge is molded in place, meaning it’d be pretty darn tough to break it open, crack the grommets, or remove the hinge. There’s also a built-in pressure relief valve should you travel through varying elevations.

The carry handle lays flat when not in use and snaps into place, so it doesn’t flop around. That’s a plus. There’s nothing more annoying than a noisy, floppy handle that gets in the way when you really don’t need it, am I right?

Further, the handle features some sort of rubberized grip that’s actually fairly comfortable to carry and is super slip-resistant… even after being caked with mud and dragged through a creek bed.

SKB Cases
The SKB iSeries 1006-3 Single Pistol Case is sleek and slender. But it’s built to withstand just about anything you can throw at it.

Impressed, I popped open the dual plastic locking clasps to have a look inside. The perimeter of the case features a full-length rubber gasket that completely seals the case when closed for a watertight, airtight, and dust-resistant closure.

Inside the case is a pre-formed high-density foam insert that completely encases your pistol and one spare magazine, keeping everything totally secure. There are also a few pieces of removable foam at the rear of the cutout, should you choose to go from carrying a subcompact pistol, like your Springfield Hellcat or Glock 43, to carrying a larger compact pistol like a Glock 19. No cutting or further customization is required! That’s a nice touch.

SKB iSeries 1006-3 Single Pistol Case
The SKB iSeries 1006-3 single pistol case is built for subcompact and compact pistols.

Handgun Compatibility

The iSeries 1006-3 Custom Single Pistol Case is a “universal” handgun case, readily securing most sub-compact and compact pistols.

I started out with my wife’s Shadow Systems CR920 to see how a sub-compact pistol would fit. I was specifically checking for unwanted movement and wobbling, as it’s a fairly small gun. To my surprise, the CR920 fit comfortably and securely in the case, with no movement or rattling.

Shadow Systems CR920 in SKB case
My wife’s sub-compact Shadow Systems CR920 fits nicely inside the case.

Happy with this result, I popped out the removable bit of foam to see how my Shadow Systems MR920 (Glock 19 equivalent) fit. It fit like a glove, conforming to the foam cutout as it should. So, by my estimations, the case lives up to its advertised compatibility with most sub-compact and compact pistols.

That said, I wanted to take things a bit further and see if it could handle a “hybrid” or crossover model, such as the Glock 19X, featuring a compact-sized slide atop a full-size frame.

This particular case is not made for crossover pistols like the Glock 19X.

As you can see in the photo above, crossover pistols seem to be the breaking point for the iSeries 1006-3 Custom Single Pistol Case. While the slide fits fairly well, the full-size Glock 17 frame was too long. I suppose one could further cut the foam insert to accommodate the larger frame, but I think that’d do more harm than good. So, we’ll just say a Glock 19 is about as big as I’d go with this case.

“Real-World” Testing

As I mentioned earlier, I’m a bit of a sadist when it comes to testing gear. I want to make sure I can trust a product to withstand the vigor of my on-the-move and rough-and-tumble lifestyle. So, in proper fashion, I subjected the case to a bit of a “torture test” to see how it held up.

I started by dropping the case off the back of my pickup onto concrete and gravel. I’ve “accidentally” slid gear out the back of my truck on more than one occasion. As such, I considered this a vital test, which the case passed with flying colors. Aside from a few little scuffs, the case remained fully intact and operational.

I also dropped the case directly on the locking clasps and the hinge — more than once — like, a lot. I checked both locking tabs and they’re still functioning correctly, and the hinge is still smooth as can be.

Next, I decided to drag the case through a muddy creekbed to test the gasket seal. Aside from being slimy and wet on the outside, the interior contents were bone dry. Not one drop of muddy water breached the seal. Yet another win for this little single pistol case.

SKB cases - single pistol case submerged in water for testing water resistant capabilities
The case claims to be waterproof, so naturally, I wanted to put it to the test.

Still not convinced, however, I filled the bathtub and weighed down the case to make sure it was completely submerged. I left it in the tub for a full 30 minutes, and again, the interior stayed as dry as could be.

Now, this case is made of plastic, so I won’t subject it to extreme heat, but I did toss it in my sub-zero freezer for six hours. Plastic tends to shrink in extreme cold, and I live in an area that occasionally dips into the negatives for weeks at a time. So, naturally, I wanted to see how the case held up to the bitter cold.

skb cases single pistol case in freezer for torture testing
It’s a bit frosty, but the SKB case never cracked — even when I dropped it on the garage floor by accident while frozen.

Aside from being extremely cold and frosty, I observed no cracks or overly brittle points. I even dropped it on the garage floor (on accident this time. I’m clumsy.), and aside from sounding a bit more rigid and less hollow than it had previously, the case was just fine.

I opted not to plunge it into hot water because that didn’t seem overly realistic, but I might try it some other time — just for fun.

Findings and Conclusion

So, would I trust the iSeries 1006-3 Custom Single Pistol Case from SKB Cases to live up to the task? Absolutely. It withstood my sadism without issue. It’s capable of stowing and transporting most sub-compact and compact pistols with ease, and it’s built for the worst.

If I do decide to subject it to open flames or any other outlandish tests, I’ll be sure to report back. But for now, I’d say this little case is money well spent.

Now to get my hands on one of SKB Cases’ long gun cases…

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