In my opinion, the word “custom” is used too often, especially in the gun world. However, I came across a company at the NRA show offering a truly custom product – cases with foam cutouts designed by the customer on the company’s webpage. They’re called MyCaseBuilder, and I think they’re awesome.
They currently have a small library of handguns and a basic M4/AR, and sell cases and foam inserts for 10 different brands, including Pelican, Seahorse, HPRC, Storm, and so on. They can also make a foam insert for any case you might have, as long as you can supply dimensions. That’s just the ticket for the cool old military hard case a friend gave me a while back, but for which, until now, I had no particular use.
Their website allows you to pick a case and then drag and drop firearms or shapes of any size you specify – either through entering precise dimensions or dragging your mouse in an approximate shape – onto the case. Once you think you’re ready to purchase, you can rotate a 3D model of your potential foam insert to make sure it’s what you want. And if you want to make a case that holds a Glock and a digital camera or iPad, you can do that too.
You’re also able to mix shapes, so you could take their Glock 17 3D model and add the dimensions and location of a suppressor, if you so desired, or a mini red dot sight, and so on. These custom dimensions can be incredibly precise, and if you save it to their library for others to use, the company will pay you royalties every time a customer orders a case with the 3D model you created.
This level of awesomeness isn’t free, of course. A Pelican 1300 case which retails for $48.35 on Amazon.com – with Pelican’s standard “pick and pluck” foam – will cost $141.67 with an insert cut to your specifications. However, the 1300 insert alone through MyCaseBuilder is $55, so if you wanted to save money, you could order the case from Amazon and the foam from MyCaseBuilder. Alternately, if you don’t need the super-tough Pelican case, you could try one of the other, lesser-priced alternatives.
What this comes down to is what your time is worth. For $50 or so, you could have a case insert precisely cut to your specifications – or you could use the standard insert and cut it with a knife or tear it into the shape you want. I have done the latter enough to feel that it’s worth the cost for me to at least try the custom case designer. I’m pretty excited about it, frankly.