Storing and transporting a rifle is an important aspect of a police department’s overall firearms program, yet it is often addressed as an afterthought by many agencies. When a department spends thousands of dollars for a rifle, optic and accessories, it only makes sense to protect that investment with something more than a cheap padded case bought at the local discount department store.
The TKL Outdoors Diamond Black DM1000 Carbon Fiber Silhouette M4 rifle case is a product aimed at the public safety community’s need for high quality patrol rifle cases. TKL Outdoors has been making quality gun cases for the law enforcement and military communities since 1984.
The carbon fiber construction is more than just a look or finish. It was purposefully selected by the company for the high strength to weight ratio, and is reinforced with DuPont Kevlar. Because of this, the Diamond Black DM1000 is lightweight and well-balanced. The case weighs in at slightly less than 12 pounds, but feels lighter when carried. The lighter feeling comes from the fact that the case is very well-balanced and easy to maneuver. The DM1000 is rigid with no perceptible flex.
Water resistance is important in any rifle case and the DM 1000 has that covered. The seal is very tight with a plastic gasket to prevent rain or splashes from entering the case. When latched, the lid is pulled tight into the gasket, further enhancing the water-resistant design of the case. Although I did not test it, I suspect this case could be immersed for short periods of time with no ill effect to the gear stored within. The DM1000 is not marketed as being waterproof.
The four latches on the front of the case are very strong. The latches are butterfly-style which cinch the case snugly closed when twisted into position. Once closed, each of the latches can be individually secured by use of a padlock, increasing security when compared to a single locking point.
Stops are elegantly built into the lid hinges, preventing the case from opening too wide and damaging the case. The built-in stops eliminate the need for a chain or other stay on the interior of the case. This improves the aesthetics and removes material which may catch on the rifle when it is removed from the case.
The handle on the DM1000 is well padded and covered in high quality black leather. It is very comfortable to carry when loaded with a rifle and gear. There are tall rubber feet on two sides of the DM1000 which provide traction when placing the case down onto a surface. The feet also help protect the finish on the case from being marred.
The interior of the case is custom molded for the AR-15/M-4 using a rigid foam construction technique called Advanced Inter-link Construction. The foam is not soft and squishy, but is comparatively hard and covered in a soft material. While this method of construction prevents the end user from changing the interior layout, it does offer superior protection to the rifle and gear carried in the case.
GPS tracking is an option which can be built into the cases. The feature is called the TKL Trackr which allows the case to be tracked through an application on a smartphone. With the system, a department or individual can set up a “geofence” around the firearm’s normal storage location. Should the TKL Trackr enabled case leave that pre-established zone, the system sends E-mail and text message notifications to the appropriate accounts. This helps prevent successful theft of the firearm.
The DM1000 is certainly strong enough to handle nearly any abuse which a street cop can throw at it. Based on its design and price point, however, the DM1000 is not the ideal rifle case for the average street cop. Instead, it appears best suited for the specialty rifle carried by a SWAT officer or squad level designated marksman.
To be carried by a patrol officer, the case would have to be stored in the trunk of the vehicle which rules out easy access by the officer. Additionally, the butterfly latches which help secure the rifle and make the case water-resistant are slow to operate – even more so if locks are in place. When a patrol officer rolls up on a hot call, he (or she) needs that rifle in hand as quickly as possible – and nothing is as quick as a rifle mount located in the passenger compartment of the car.
However, the DM1000 excels for the SWAT or other officer who deploys with precision optics mounted on the rifle. It is extremely important that a scope remain zeroed while stored which means it must be well protected. Protection is what the DM1000 provides and the cost of slower deployment is worth the knowledge that the rifle will put the first round on target.
The base MSRP on the TKL Outdoors Diamond Black DM1000 Carbon Fiber Silhouette M4 rifle case is $1999.95. The TKL Trackr adds an additional $229.95 – $599.95 (depending on desired capabilities). The rifle cases come with a limited lifetime warranty which covers everything other than normal wear and abuse. The case ships with a heavy-duty nylon bag which will help protect the appearance of the case for many years.
All of the TKL Outdoors cases are made in the United States and the company is a designated veteran owned company based in Oilville, VA.
For an officer or department which needs a high degree of protection for a precision rifle, the TKL Outdoors Diamond Black DM1000 Carbon Fiber Silhouette M4 rifle case is an excellent option. It is well built and backed by a lifetime warranty from a company which has been around longer than many of today’s patrol officers.