When I’m travelling to my favorite range, or to a shooting sports event, I particularly find soft gun bags a safety risk, so I always make sure to have a properly fitted hard gun case for each of my firearms and their accessories. I will lead you through step after step on how to the cut and transform your gun case foam to house your shotgun nicely and safely.
Tools You Need
There are various tools available in the market for cutting the foam of a hard gun case, making it more flexible and customizable. Major tools required for the purpose are:
- Cutting frame
- Knife or electric knife
How to Cut Foam for My Shotgun Case?
Nowadays, you can find cases easily for your shotgun. We have already discussed whether you should choose a soft or a hard gun case, but there are still some customizable areas for your hard gun case. Here’s my guide on cutting foam for a shotgun case.
1. Choose a Gun Case Fitting Your Items
Select the type of firearm you want to keep in your hard-gun case. It is better to select the firearm before buying a hard gun case, so you don’t find yourself worrying about insufficient space.
Foam in a hard gun case can be cut as long as it is flexible and customizable, but you need to consider the size before purchasing it. A long hard-gun case is more suitable for holding a rifle, while a square-shaped hard gun case can store a shotgun or a handgun easily. So, first, choose your firearm and then buy a hard gun case accordingly.
2. Preparing the Gun
Preparing the gun for cutting foam for a hard gun case is simple. You first need to remove the various removable parts of the gun. Unload the gun and take measurements of each removed part. This will ensure that every removed portion is stored separately and securely in the hard gun case.
One of the best foam for this purpose is the Puck ‘n’ Pluck foam and is definitely worth checking out.
3. Layout and arrangement
Before you begin cutting the foam for your hard gun case, you should determine the number of guns and accessories you are going to carry. Make arrangements by placing the gun and accessories over the foam, and try to find the pattern in which they can be placed most appropriately. Once you have arranged the guns and accessories, focus on making a layout, as this will help avoid errors.
4. Distributing Weight
The foam of the hard gun case should be cut such that there are specific compartments for each part of the gun. The cuttings should also be uniformly balanced around the entire surface of the foam of the hard gun case. This will help distribute weight and keep the case in a balanced position. Make sure you leave some space between the guns and accessories as well.
5. Outlining Your Shotgun and Accessories
Draw an outline of each gun and its accessories on the foam, as this will help determine the number of parts that can be adjusted in one hard-gun case. For outlining, you can use chalk and trace the design of the gun onto the foam. You can also use a fine-sharped-tipped pen to draw the outline of the gun and its various parts.
6. Cutting the Gun Case Foam
A cutting frame helps cut the foam efficiently and smoothly in the desired shape. You can use a sharp knife or even an electric knife to cut the foam according to the outlining you made previously. While cutting, make sure each accessory and gun is kept at a distance of at least 1 inch. Doing so will help prevent the foam from ripping off.
7. Peeling the Layers Away
Once you have outlined and cut the foam, begin peeling off the layers. The Puck n Pluck foam is easiest to peel off. With every layer that’s peeled off, more space will be created for your shotgun and other accessories, so you can find the correct depth for your shotgun and accessories.
8. Check for Fit
As you peel off the foam, continue to check the fitting of the items after peeling each layer. This will help determine the position and depth in which each item fits in most accurately. After doing so, shotgun parts will remain at a fixed position when you move the hard gun case.
9. Curving the Edges and Cleaning Up
If you find a section that’s particularly deep for your equipment, you can use the cut-out pieces of foam to add padding to that section. Once all the sections are according to your liking, take an electric knife or a hot wire cutter to trim any extra protrusions of foam that you spot. The final product should look as neat as possible.
To smoothen the edges, use a hard rounded tool (a marker will do) and apply pressure along the edge. Make sure you apply the same amount of pressure as you work your way on the whole edge. Feeling the edge using a finger will allow you to check if there’s room for improvement.
Furthermore, if a certain section is not according to your requirements, a smaller piece of foam can be cut into a smooth shape to fill the gap and give the whole case a neat and attractive finish.
Types of Gun Case Foams
There are three main types of gun case foams:
- TopGuard PE foam (Polyethylene foam)
- Ester-foam (Polyurethane)
- EVA foam (Ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer foam)
PU is open-cell foam, PE is closed cell foam, and EVA is similar to closed-cell foam. PE foam is ideal for heavier items and items that can absorb a little shock. Ester foam (PU) is ideal for delicate items, as it has excellent shock-absorbing properties. EVA is for display cases as it has a smooth and attractive appearance.
Puck’n’pluck foams are very user-friendly and customizable. Having a customized hard gun case with puck’n’pluck foam makes it easier for you to adjust the base according to your requirement.
Popular Brands for Gun Cases
Gun cases have been around for a long time, and there are some great manufacturers out there that offer excellent gun cases. There are options for buying a default case or a customized one. Some of the best manufacturers include:
- Uncle Mike’s
You’re now ready to make the perfect case for your gun! A fitted and balanced gun case helps prevent accidents, so make sure you follow the aforementioned steps to cut foam and customize a gun case that perfectly suits all your needs.