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Posted: 11/9/2001 9:14:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/9/2001 9:54:05 AM EDT by Quarterbore]
I am not resolved that I wish to spend this much money on a case but we have all seen the pictures of some of our forum members guns that have been customized for their gun. My AR-10 is getting to the point where it might just deserve such a custom case...

Here is a picture of the Pelican case for the SR-25 used by special forces....


What is involved with customizing the interior of one of these cases? Is the foam layers of foram that you simply cut through as many layers as needed for the proper debth?

How about some details as I have seen various pics of guys with them for their AR-15s, Bolt Guns as well as these Special guns!

Also, I also remember in the past seeing recomendations for similar cases that might be less expensive. Anybody got any recomendations?


Oh yea, I can also but the case preformed at www.impactguns.com/store/knights_20005.html for a meer $475! Is this a realistic price for these cases? If so, what makes a case worth $500 by the time you pay shipping?

A couple links...

Link Posted: 11/9/2001 9:51:25 AM EDT
Holy cow! The pelican 1700 is almost half of that! And yes, you can custom cut the foam. One of the guys here on the board has a custom cut pelican case that he made.

God Bless Texas
Link Posted: 11/9/2001 10:12:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/9/2001 10:05:44 AM EDT by GodBlessTexas]
Ok. Check out www.pelicancases4less.com/detail_pelican_1700.html. That looks like the case based on the exterior dimensions, and they have it for $127.25 without foam. The foam inserts (3 pieces) are $41.57 for the 1700. That should be all you need, for less than $$240, which is the price I see for it at other places. At that Price, I think I'm going to pick one up.

God Bless Texas
Link Posted: 11/9/2001 10:27:48 AM EDT

Here is some of the details I was looking for


Each Pelican case comes with full foam unless a xxxxNF (No Foam) version is ordered. Over time the Foam may deteriorate and need replacing. You may also want to package different items in the case at some time and want a fresh set of foam to work with.

All sizes have at least 3 layers of foam. A layer of "Egg Crate" in the top, a layer of pre-scored "Pick-n-Pluck" in the main body (except for the 1700 and 1750 which have a solid foam block), and a 1" layer on the very bottom. Some cases may have more than one Pick-n-Pluck layer depending on its size.

Also, the price was $143.00 with the foam! That is a darned good price compared to the prices above!

Link Posted: 11/9/2001 10:56:33 AM EDT
Botach tactical:


Has them for $147 plus $18 for foam.
Link Posted: 11/9/2001 11:01:41 AM EDT
If you order online from

do not use zip+4

Link Posted: 11/9/2001 12:33:35 PM EDT
I already have a Pelican case. But I am afraid to cut the foam since I have seen several people that did the cutting themselves and they don't look as good and clean as the picture above.

What is the best best way and tool to do the cutting? And also outlining the foam for cutting
for a particular weapon.


Link Posted: 11/9/2001 3:28:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/9/2001 4:33:41 PM EDT by fight4yourrights]

Originally Posted By Quarterbore:
Oh yea, I can also but the case preformed at www.impactguns.com/store/knights_20005.html for a meer $475! Is this a realistic price for these cases? If so, what makes a case worth $500 by the time you pay shipping?

A couple links...


Try these guys, www.psi-cases.com, they *might* be able to do it cheaper for you, but probably not. Email them a picture and see what they can do. Tell them it doesn't have to be die cut.

Yes, that's a pretty realistic cost. Unless you set up a die (money) to cut the foam, you are looking at a lot of labor to fabricate those cushions. Also, the little retaining straps in the lid add a surprising amount of cost, due to the labor

I work for a case company, and the simple case & cushion I designed for myself came up to $650. Better (lighter/stronger) than a Pelican, but I'm not paying that much.

My Pelican 1750 came with 1 piece of foam in the lid, and (2) 1.5" thick layers in the base. The case came with 2.0 pcf grey polyurethane ester open cell foam that is softer and less expensive than the closed cell those guys are using. You don't want the "pluck-n-pick" foam. It's easy to work with, but in a few months or so you will start having pieces break out.

Open cell like this actually provides better cushion when you are filling up the case. That's why you see stereo equipment and such come with end caps of open cell only. The closed cell foam is so stiff you have to relieve it some. Basically, the case you picture will mechanically protect the gun, but won't offer a lot of shock protection. Luckily, guns are pretty tough and don't need it.

For cutting foam yourself, the key is a very sharp knive, laying out your cut, and a steady hand. A break-off blade Olfa knive works well, or you can use an electric knive. I don't really like the electric since foam dulls the blades quickly and you can get tearing instead of cutting. The hardest part is keeping the knive vertical. We cut most of our stuff on bandsaws. The Knights case has die cut foam, which is a good way to go but involves the cost of a tool.

Hot knives are used sometimes for the closed cell foam. Basically they can be as simple as custom tips on a soldering gun (the wire type). But hot knives are HARD to work with. Not for a beginner. I've had lot's of fun trying to modify cushions for customers. Unless you do it for a living, it's not easy working with cushions and making them look good.

The closed cell foam is much easier to cut, and you can take a heat gun to seal the edges when you are done, which will cover up some mistakes. I've heard you can chill/freeze the open cell foam to make it easier to cut, but obviously our factory doesn't do it that way.

Here's mine that I did tonight. I might still add some items, but you have to be a little careful with the softer foam. You need to maintain enough wall section between parts.

Link Posted: 11/9/2001 4:27:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/10/2001 8:00:43 AM EDT by fight4yourrights]
Check out the photo I have at the bottom of this post

The Knight design is flawed. They have a better design in the Special Ops case posted at the top of the page, but check out what their website shows. See the bottom right corner where there is a thin wall section separating the upper and the suppressor(?)? There are steps to hold the rear of the upper, but the whole thing will move forward off that support and fall downward.

That wall section is too thin to support the weight of the upper. When the case is dropped on the handle side, the upper will rotate toward the suppressor and crush that wall. When the case is opened, the upper will be sitting pretty cockeyed in the case. Not a good thing.

Also, if the case is dropped on the left end, the only thing keeping the upper in place is the scope. The cutout for the handguard has a gradual ramp, that won't support the weight of the upper. The bell of the scope is going to impact into the foam. Without scope caps, it's going to dig into the foam. Probably won't hurt anything, but not an optimum design. Much of this is due to the fact it looks like they used a universal design, so it doesn't fit as tight as it could.

Link Posted: 11/9/2001 4:34:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/9/2001 4:37:01 PM EDT by fight4yourrights]

Originally Posted By ASR:
I already have a Pelican case. But I am afraid to cut the foam since I have seen several people that did the cutting themselves and they don't look as good and clean as the picture above.

That's because the cushion in the picture is die cut. Think cookie cutter. They are cutting every slot/cavity in 1 shot with prelaid out metal blades on a wooden board.

Are you looking for something pretty or something functional? Cut that bad boy!
Link Posted: 11/9/2001 7:43:18 PM EDT
Cutting foam is not rocket science just freeze it and cut if frozen. No need to pay big bucks!
Link Posted: 11/9/2001 8:03:01 PM EDT
Being a photographer for many years. I have made several custom cut foam cases. That have held many more smaller pieces then what we need done here. Best to start by making a very detailed template. First out of paper the a have cardboard. Freeze the foam and do one layer at a time(that way if it don't work you don't ruin all the foam. Use a new sharp blade and make it hot. Not RED hot just more than warm. Change blades often to make sure it is sharp.
Link Posted: 11/9/2001 9:12:28 PM EDT
The starlight cases are the best in the industry (can withstand a humvee driven over them) and survive extreme abuse. I found out they were on sale at sniper country website. Picked up a double gun case for $100 with foam - that had a slight blemish on the interior (no big deal). Suggest you check out the starlights yourself - you won't be disappointed. Good shooting!
Link Posted: 11/10/2001 1:26:25 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/10/2001 8:10:26 AM EDT
Troy actually did a better job than the one Knight case shown.

Note he has enough foam between the items, everything is well contained and well supported.
Link Posted: 11/10/2001 8:41:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/10/2001 8:34:15 AM EDT by SouthernShark]
This is why I prefer AKs. I just throw them into the bottom of my closet. That's all the case I need. If I'm traveling I toss them into a Bagmaster.

BTW- Troy you case rocks.

Link Posted: 11/10/2001 12:43:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/10/2001 12:46:24 PM EDT by beemisss1]
Hello, first post on AR15.com for me, but I've lurked for some time.

I am going to have a few cases made by PSI Cases (see post by fight4yourrights).

I know the owner of PSI, and the quality of their work is excellent. I talked with him a couple of months ago about custom cutting cases for my FALs and my AR, and have decided to do it.

If there are a few "standard" configurations(mags, optics, etc) a number of people want to see, I could get them to tool up for them. If the quantities are high enough, I know they will offer them at a good price. If there is enough interest, and someone will to educate me on the rules of a group buy to help support the board I may be able to arrange that too.

Right now I'm looking at cases for the following items:

1) Full length FAL with receiver mounted red dot, 10ea 20 round mags, mag filler, and cleaning kit.

2) 20" A2 HBAR, 5 20 round mags, 5 30 round mags, cleaning kit.

Your feedback would be appreciated.

(edited to correct typos)
Link Posted: 11/15/2001 1:46:13 PM EDT
I forgot to add:

for the 2 layers of foam in the bottom of the Pelican (larger cases) you will want to glue these together once you get them cut.

Home Depot sells spray cans of 3M #77 spray adhesive. This is equivalent to what foam fabricators use. You can use this to glue the layers together and to glue the cushions into the case (if you want).
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