View Full Version : Need to cut out foam for case?

October 24, 2008, 05:20 PM
So I finally decided to stop chancing it and bought a Pelican 1750. I usually travel with two rifles, but which rifles those are varies. Two scoped rifles can fit in the case, but it requires a great deal of force to close the latches. This could be alleviated if I cut out the gun shape(s) in the center piece of foam. However, any shape I would cut would only be appropriate for one rifle, whereas there is a chance I would be bringing at least a half-dozen different rifles or shotguns along for rides over time. My question is thus: Is there any risk I run but not doing a shaped cutout in the foam? I don't believe damage can result from just having to kneel on the case to get it to close, because it is still only foam in contact with the rifles and optics, but I wanted to hear it from someone else.

T. O'Heir
October 24, 2008, 09:53 PM
Cut the foam and you reduce the protection it gives. My two gun case, not a Pelican, sometimes takes a bit of persuasion to get it closed too. Depends on which firearms are in it. None of 'em ever move around in the case though.

October 24, 2008, 10:00 PM
just an idea.... take several of your firearms and figure out a general area where they all could use some more space and just shave off a 1/2" or so from that area. maybe taper it down to it to keep the pressure equal across the firearm.

just an idea though, i have no experience with fitting gun cases.

October 31, 2008, 09:29 PM
Hi, new to the forum, first post.

You might try cutting 2 chambers diagonally leaving about 2 inches of foam as the divider. You could also buy new sheets of foam and custom cut them for different combinations. Foam for the 1750 is available a lot of places, try ebay. I've been using the 1750 for quite a few years and find it the best, owned a tuffpak at one point along with the 1750. Partners travelled with others without as good results. Sold the tuffpak, it worked but I prefer the 1750.

I pack mine very similar to the pic depending on what is needed. I cut out the entire center leaving just a border. I can pack it with whatever I want. I think this was for a lope hunt in NM. Never had any problem with it packed like this on many trips, Tanzania, Argentina, Australia, Mongolia, both Mexico and Alaska several times.


October 31, 2008, 09:38 PM
Get a couple extra foams and swap them out as necessary. The Pelicans are made to have the foam cut-out. You're not getting the protection they promise if you cram them in between foam sheets.

If you're not going to cut the foam, you're better off with a case that's made to be not custom-cut, like this one: http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=492196#enalarge

Cut the foam and you reduce the protection it gives.
Completely false. You're supposed to cut (or pluck, depending on case model) the foam in Pelicans to the shape of whatever you're protecting.


October 31, 2008, 11:11 PM
borrowing from tranks suggestion, if most of your guns fit a general shape, you might be able to scallop out some foam from the areas where all the guns are thicker and create a shallow depression for the them to sit it. Keeps most of the foam from being heavily compressed.

November 1, 2008, 05:45 AM

Scroll down to the link from ar15.com... That guy is probably as good as it gets.

November 1, 2008, 09:50 PM
If the rifles are similar in size/shape that you are going to be switching out, just lay the first one out and trace it then lay the second one out and trace it. Cut on the outside line. There should be enough contact points to the foam in common for it to still hold the different rifles securely. (or you can keep the cutoffs and plug them back in to fill the holes when needed).

Or just by some replacement foam and make dedicated inserts for each rifle. You can cut them on the diagonal and mix and match the halves depending on what you are putting in the box.


November 15, 2008, 03:22 AM
What I do is I bought in Walmart a sheet of their sleeping bag liner foam ( the foam you put under a sleeping bag which is thin but tough). I take out the middle foam board from my pelican case and put it away, then put one gun on the botton Pelican foam, lay the cut to Pelican case sized Walmart foam on top of the first rifle then lay the second rifle on top of the Walmart foam and close the lid with the third Pelican case foam on top of the second rifle. They will never bang or touch each other and the case closes easy. If it does not close easy you may lose the water tight seal or maybe damage a latch, though it is garrantee'd for life.
The other good suggestion as in the other post is to buy a second set of foam. Do a search on E-bay for a good price. It does look nice when the foam is cut to the rifles shape.

December 8, 2008, 11:10 PM
Pelican sells sized foam for each of their cases. Not sure of the cost, but why not a different piece for each gun?

December 18, 2008, 04:53 PM
I am going to build me a hot wire foam cutter tonight so I can cut foam for my safe. I will post pics of the adventure...good or bad!

December 18, 2008, 08:46 PM
If you don't have a hot wire, those serrated edge bread knives sometimes will do a decent job of cutting the foam in a pinch.

December 28, 2008, 09:06 AM
Here's an EXCELLENT thread on this subject:

December 28, 2008, 09:18 AM
Thanks for the continued input :)

Just for the record, my rifles flew packed between uncut foam. The case was difficult to close and I would be a tiny bit worried about the integrity of the waterproof seal if I planned to sink it in a river for a short while. That not being the case, both rifles arrived safely and ready to go.

I'd like to cut the foam, but for the past few I've only been flying once a year with hunting rifles, and I tend to bring along a different backup rifle from year to year. I leave the foam uncut because I'd just like to avoid the extra expense of buying several spare sheets to cut to the various configurations I'd employ.

December 28, 2008, 09:26 AM
That's a very good write up. Off to the bookmarks! Thanks.