Making custom fit cases is just one of the many things that I enjoy doing. I find it immensely rewarding to see the finished product with shapes cut out to perfectly fit the form of each part that needs to be carefully stored. I started making custom foam-lined cases in the winter of 2008 when I decided to make a custom flight case, well two, for my telescope, accessories and mount. Astronomy is a whole other hobby that I must one day rekindle but for now, I know that the telescope is safe a secure in its case.
In my collection I have a HW45 along with shoulder stock, four barrels (.177, .20, .22 and believe it or not a .25). Also a pistol scope and laser sight. It’s quite a “tricked out” pistol. Yet I didn’t have a suitable case or box to keep it all in. Eventually I made the time, something I am very short of, to build a dedicated custom foam-lined case to keep it all safe within.
I bought the case from Maplins. I think it was about £20. I dislike the idea of badly fitting foam and squares where there should be circles. Maybe it’s because I knew that I could do better and so the “pick and pluck” foam was discarded instantly.
I also had plenty of foam leftover from the Webley box project and from my telescope case project of almost ten years ago. The foam was still as good as the day I had bought it which says a lot about its longevity. All I was missing was some egg box style foam to line the lid of the case with. That was easily rectified and ordered swiftly.
One thing I am acutely aware of is making the best use of space. Most aluminium camera or tool cases are quite deep. You could easily fit two pistols on top of each other in these cases. A slimline case would have been preferable but they are quite hard to find. Nonetheless, I set about positioning the pistol and its accessories to work out how they would best fit. Once I had worked out the optimum layout I realised I could create a dual-layered case. The pistol and accessories would be placed on the top layer with pellets, manual, targets and target holder on the bottom layer.
To make the top layer removable, it would be placed on a sheet of plywood with two straps as handles. I had used this technique for the telescope case so I knew it would work out well. The straps and the foam are glued in place using impact adhesive only.
I used the same techniques for cutting the foam as I described in the Webley box article. The only addition was the use of a pillar drill and hole cutters to make the circular cuts for the pellet tins. I also added some finger holes using hole cutters to make it easier to get a firm hold of various items such as the moderator and barrels.
Of course all this hardware in one case makes it quite heavy! Nonetheless, I’m sure you will agree it’s a grand job for a classic air pistol and its suite of accessories.
Until next time, happy shooting!