Vacation and travel season is ramping up. When planning your next trip, don’t forget about your away-from-home security. It’s important that you travel with the means to defend yourself and your castle on wheels. This is especially true if you’re camping where wild animals of a large and unpleasant kind might abound.

Just like in your home, it is a bad idea to leave unsecured guns lying about. Unauthorized and unsafe access could lead to horrible tragedy. So how do you secure your firearms safely in something like an RV, where storage space comes at a premium? Answer: the Life Jacket locking firearms security case.

Safety First

The Life Jacket is brilliantly simple, providing portable, keyed storage for handguns, pump or semi-automatic shotguns, or AR-15s. The case features a solid steel or polycarbonate clamshell-type enclosure that totally prohibits access to the firing mechanisms. A Life Jacket doesn’t take up as much room as a full-sized gun case.

Unlike the trigger guard locks that ship with every new firearm, nothing inside the Life Jacket directly contacts any portion of the trigger. The key-locked clamshell envelops the barrel and grip, while a protective foam rubber lining cushions and protects the firearm and holds it in place.

Handgun Options

There are two models of Life Jackets available for handguns. Both models, the LJ1 and LJ2, are universal-type locking systems. The main mission of the Life Jacket is overall security, but it’s also designed to take up as little room as possible.

The LJ1 features a lightweight, hardened polycarbonate enclosure with a heavy-duty locking mechanism. An embedded steel cable runs around the perimeter, lock and embedded steel pins to help prevent cut-through. While the LJ1 secures standard semi-automatic handguns and small- to medium-frame revolvers, it won’t hold my K-frame Smith & Wesson Model 65. The J-frame revolver is the largest S&W it can hold. The light weight of the LJ1 makes it great for travel (or when permanent anchoring is not desired or when the handgun is being moved about from place to place).

The all-steel LJ2 is somewhat larger than the polycarbonate LJ1, providing secure storage of semi-automatic pistols as well as small-, medium- and large-frame revolvers, — including my S&W Model 65 and 2.5-inch Model 686 — though a good portion of the barrel protrudes from the case. The all-steel construction of the LJ2 is more pry- and breakage-resistant than the more portable LJ1.

The LJ2 also comes with a paper template to position two drill holes through the inside of the case if you choose to hard mount it. Thus, if you own your RV or camper, you can find a discreet location and bolt it in place. It would be great for mounting inside a closet or other location in the RV, as it takes up less room due to its action-hugging profile. The LJ2 has a large welded steel loop affixed to the side if you wish to prevent theft by securing it to a single bolt with a steel cable. Using the loop would allow you to secure it under a car seat or other location where only one bolt mounting is desired or practical.

Secure Those Long Guns, Too

A shotgun can be a great self-defense tool to keep in an RV or camper  — especially if you’re traveling where big animals roam. The LJ3 is a polycarbonate action-locking system which secures most pump and semi-automatic shotguns. It features a built-in chamber lock that plugs the action to prevent operation.

If you favor an AR-15 for defense, the polycarbonate LJ4 encloses the entire action, including the carry handle of models so equipped. Because it is a larger device, there are two separate locks. The LJ4 is the only Life Jacket not California-approved (since AR-15s are no longer for sale there).

If you are ordering more than one Life Jacket security case, you can request that the locks be keyed the same, which is a nice option. If you choose to buy additional Life Jacket cases in the future, the new cases can also be keyed to match your existing models.

A detailed firearms compatibility chart is available online. Prices range from $34.99 to $64.99 depending on model. Life Jackets are TSA-approved.

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