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How to Make Custom Foam Inserts for Gun Cases

Updated on July 14, 2014

What You Need

Gun owners know that preparation and caution are a key aspect to storing their gun(s) properly. One of the main components is storing that gun in its case in a way that keeps it secure and safe in your home. A lockable hard-shell case is a smart choice for both holding and transporting a firearm safely. However, buying a custom foam insert for the case can get pricey. Gun owners don’t need to shell out tons of money to get the perfect design. Here is a breakdown of how to create your own custom foam inserts for any hard shell gun case.

First, start with the case. An experienced gun dealer will likely be able to help choose the right case for your gun and accessories, or look to the brand you like best. Find a case that allows for foam inserts to fit comfortably along with your gun. Foam inserts can be cut to fit, though, so keep that in mind when choosing your gun case.

It’s up to the individual's personal preferences when designing the layout of the foam insert for a gun case. Think about the volume of use and durability you’re looking for in the case. Are you going to be using it often, requiring a durable material for constant usage? Or do you plan on storing it or taking it camping where water resistant foam could come in handy? Research foam at various hardware stores based on these and other needs. However, if price is your biggest draw (and cheap shipping) this particular Kaizen foam can be ordered cheaply and fashioned to fit your gun case. The Kaizen foam comes as single sheets of closed shell foam made into layers, which makes cutting the gun’s shape at the right depth a breeze.

One important detail to consider is how to get a firm fit. While the “pick and pluck” method is great for beginners, you’re not going to get precise results. This involves quite literally plucking out the foam with your fingers after marking the outline. Consider using an X-acto knife or similar box cutter type of tool to cut out the gun pattern. A long nose pattern marker can be purchased for a few dollars, and the long tip makes for easy tracing of your fire arms. However if you want to get extremely technical, use hot-wire cutting techniques. Of course, use extreme caution when using any kind of knife or sharp tool to cut out the foam inset.

Keep in mind that when you trace the gun the outline will be a little bit bigger than you want. Be careful to cut out the shape on the slightly smaller side to ensure a snug hold on the gun. If you choose the Kaizen foam, you'll likely have enough padding to use the other size for a differently shaped gun. Once you've traced the correct shape, start small when cutting out the foam and only do it a layer at a time until the fit is perfect. Test out your finished product and you’re good to go to safely carry and store your gun in its case!

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