How to Build a Custom Gun Case: 5 Steps That Guarantee Results - Ghost 13

How to Build a Custom Gun Case: 5 Steps That Guarantee Results


Ever wondered how to transform a generic bag into a unique, custom gun case built specifically to fit and protect your firearm? Well, you're at the right place.

Let's break it down for you:

  1. Selecting the right case suitable for your firearm.
  2. Preparing the case for customization.
  3. Incorporating foam inserts cut to the specific size of your firearm.
  4. Enhancing security with secure lockable latches.
  5. Adding distinct features for functionality and personalized aesthetics.
  6. Testing and making necessary adjustments.

Creating a custom gun case is not only a knack for craftsmanship but also reflective of your unique style. As gun enthusiasts ourselves, we at Ghost 13, resonate with the passion behind owning a firearm and recognize the necessity of offering it the bespoke protection it deserves.

As manufacturers of exceptional custom gun cases, we believe that a well-designed case is an extension of your personality, your values, and your commitment to quality. We don't just make rifle bags; we create embodiments of the American spirit, focusing on unmatchable quality, unique designs, and attention to the finest details.

With this guide, we aim to guide you through the creation of a custom gun case, ensuring it's not just a container for your firearm, but a remarkable piece of art that exemplifies the Ghost 13 ethos of quality and character.

Custom Gun Case Infographic - how to make a custom gun case infographic infographic-line-5-steps

Understanding the Legalities and Materials for Building a Custom Gun Case

Before we delve into the details of how to make a custom gun case, it's important to understand the legal aspects of homemade firearm cases in the US and the materials required for such a project.

Legal Aspects of Homemade Firearms and Cases in the US

In the United States, the legality of making your own gun case differs across states due to varying local and state laws. However, federally, it's legal to create a case for your firearm for personal use. It's essential to familiarize yourself with your local regulations to ensure you're in compliance. This legality doesn't extend to creating "machineguns" or any other Title II or NFA weapons.

Materials Used for Gun Cases: An Overview

The construction of a gun case requires careful selection of materials to ensure durability and effective protection for your firearm. The exterior shell of most gun cases is typically made using a hard plastic material. This heavy-duty plastic, often ridged for added strength, ensures that even under weight, the case won't break or allow the firearm inside to be damaged.

The interior of the case, designed to house and protect the firearm, is typically lined with foam. The foam provides cushioning and shock absorption, effectively keeping the firearm safe during transportation.

Why Polyethylene Foam is the Best for Gun Cases

While various foams can be used for gun cases, polyethylene, or PE foam, stands out as the best material for this purpose. Polyethylene foam is a closed-cell foam, which means it doesn't absorb water, dust, or other contaminants. It's rigid and durable, making it excellent for shock absorption and protection against impact damage.

At Ghost 13, we use polyethylene foam in our custom gun cases due to its protective and customizable nature. This foam allows for precise cuts and shapes to accommodate the exact dimensions of your firearm, ensuring an optimal fit and superior protection.

In addition to its functional benefits, polyethylene foam is also aesthetically pleasing, contributing to the overall appearance of your custom gun case.

In the next section, we'll guide you through selecting the right case for your firearm and preparing it for customisation. Stay tuned as we continue to explore custom gun cases and reveal the secrets to a perfect build.

Step 1: Choosing the Right Case and Preparing It

To start the journey of how to make a custom gun case, one must first select an appropriate case and prepare it for customization.

Selecting the Right Case for Your Firearm: Factors to Consider

When choosing a case, size is of utmost importance. The case must be big enough to accommodate your firearm and any related accessories. If you're seeking a case for a shotgun, we recommend choosing a case that's at least 4 inches longer than your firearm. This ensures a proper fit and prevents any damage from squeezing your firearm into a case that's too small.

The durability of the case is also a significant factor. Hard cases made of materials like plastic or metal often offer the best protection. However, you can also opt for a more unconventional case, like a guitar case, for a unique, unassuming appearance.

Preparing the Case: Removing Existing Lining and Reinforcing the Structure

Once you have your case, the next step is to prepare it. If the case has an existing lining, such as fur or foam, this will need to be removed. This can be done carefully using a sharp serrated blade or an electric carving knife.

Once the lining is removed, you may find that the case needs to be reinforced. This can be done using hardware like brass or aluminum plates, which can be fastened to the interior face of the case wall. If the case has a metal rim that gets in the way, you can use spacers on the exterior for a better fit.

The goal is to create a safe, snug environment for your firearm. So, take your time with this step. Measure twice, cut once, and always keep safety in mind. Our expert, Landen Hull, is always here to guide you through the process.

In the next section, we'll delve into foam inserts and how they can be customized to fit your specific firearm model perfectly. This is where the magic truly happens in creating a custom gun case, so stay tuned!

Step 2: Customizing the Case with Foam Inserts

Now that you have your case ready, the next step in learning how to make a custom gun case is to customize it with foam inserts. This process involves choosing the right type of foam, cutting and shaping it to fit your firearm, and adding it to the case.

Types of Foam Used for Gun Cases: Polyurethane vs Polyethylene

Two types of foam are commonly used in gun cases - polyurethane and polyethylene. Polyurethane is a soft, open-cell foam that offers good cushioning and shock absorption. But for a gun case, we at Ghost 13 recommend polyethylene foam. Polyethylene is a closed-cell foam, meaning it doesn't absorb water, dust, or other contaminants. Its rigid structure ensures a snug fit for your firearm, providing excellent shock absorption and protection against impact damage. Plus, polyethylene foam is also highly customizable, allowing for precise cuts and shapes to accommodate the exact dimensions of your firearm.

Cutting and Shaping the Foam to Fit Your Firearm

Now, it's time to cut and shape the foam. To do this, lay your firearm and any accessories you want to include on the foam, and trace around them with a sharpie. Once you've done this, use an electric carving knife or a sharp serrated blade to cut along the traced lines. Slow and steady wins the race. Be precise with your cuts to ensure your firearm and accessories fit snugly into the foam.

If you're not comfortable cutting the foam yourself, consider using a Charcoal Pick and Pull Grid Foam, which comes partially cut into squares that can be picked and pulled out to the shape of your weapon.

Adding the Foam to the Case and Covering with Felt or Other Material

Once you've cut and shaped the foam, apply a strong adhesive to the bottom of the foam and place it in the case. Make sure it fits snugly and doesn't move around. After the adhesive has dried, you can add a layer of felt or other material over the foam for an extra touch of elegance and protection.

Landen Hull, a topic expert at Ghost 13, recommends taking your time during this process. "The key to a successful custom gun case is attention to detail," Landen says. "From the type of foam you use to the way you cut and shape it, every step matters."

Now that you know how to customize your case with foam inserts, you're one step closer to building your custom gun case. In the next section, we'll discuss how to ensure the security of your custom gun case. Keep reading to learn more!

Step 3: Ensuring the Security of Your Custom Gun Case

After you've chosen your case and implemented your foam inserts, the next crucial step in learning how to make a custom gun case involves securing it. A well-built gun case is worthless if it can't protect your firearm from unauthorized access.

Replacing Standard Latches with Secure, Lockable Ones

Standard latches may not provide the security you need for your gun case. They can be easily tampered with or may fail to hold up under stress. Replacing the standard latches with secure, lockable ones is a step you can't afford to skip.

For example, you could replace a central latch near the case's center of gravity with a robust cabinet latch that includes a hasp for a padlock. Using 10-24 brass hardware to mount the latch, you can ensure that it passes through the latch, the case wall, and onto aluminum plates on the case's interior face for added security.

This does require a bit of DIY skill, as you'll need to create spacers on the exterior to ensure the latch fits securely and doesn't interfere with the case's rim. Using materials like 0.063" aluminum sheets wrapped in beveled copper flashing, you can create a secure yet aesthetically pleasing latch installation.

Additional Security Measures for Your Custom Gun Case

After replacing the latches, think about other ways to enhance the security of your custom gun case. One option is to purchase locks that cannot be tampered with or easily broken. An example from our research is the Master Lock Model 131Q, which is both lightweight and strong.

If you're flying with your firearms, make sure to buy locks that are not accessible by TSA. This ensures that your firearms stay safe and secure during travel.

Consider adding at least two locks per long gun case to enhance security. These locks can be keyed alike for convenience.

Ensuring that your custom gun case is secure is a critical step in protecting your firearms. In the next section, we will discuss additional features you can add to your gun case for both functionality and aesthetics.

At Ghost 13, we're dedicated to helping firearm enthusiasts like you create the perfect home for your equipment. Our expert, Landen Hull, is always ready to guide you through each step of the process. Stay tuned for more insightful tips on building your custom gun case!

Step 4: Adding Additional Features for Functionality and Aesthetics

A custom gun case isn't just about protection and security. It's also about creating a case that fits your functionality needs and reflects your style. This step involves reinforcing the case for durability, adding features for stability, and customizing the look of your gun case.

Reinforcing the Case with Aluminum Sheets for Extra Durability

Durability is critical when it comes to a gun case. You want to ensure that your case can withstand various conditions and keep your firearm protected at all times. A great way to reinforce your case is by adding aluminum sheets.

Aluminum is lightweight, yet sturdy, making it an excellent choice for reinforcement. It adds strength to your case without significantly increasing its weight. To reinforce your case, cut the aluminum sheet to the approximate size of your case, bend it to shape, and securely fit it in place. This step would give your case a much-needed extra layer of durability.

Adding Feet for Stability and Other Functional Features

A well-designed gun case should be stable when you set it down, and adding feet can help achieve this. Feet can distribute the weight of the case evenly and prevent it from tipping over. They also raise the case slightly off the ground, protecting it from damp surfaces.

It's also worth considering other functional features such as handles for easy carrying and compartments for storing accessories. A custom gun case should cater to your specific needs, so don't hesitate to add features that make using the case more convenient for you.

<gun case feet> - how to make a custom gun case

Customizing the Look of Your Gun Case: Ideas and Tips

Finally, let's talk about aesthetics. A custom gun case gives you the freedom to express your style. You can choose to keep things simple and sleek, or you could opt for a more unique and personalized look.

Consider using different materials for the exterior of your case. For instance, a copper flashing material can give your case a classier look. You can also use polyurethane varnish to enhance the look of the material and keep it looking bright and fresh.

<copper gun case> - how to make a custom gun case

The goal is to create a case that you'll be proud to carry. Don't be afraid to experiment with different designs and materials until you find a combination that truly reflects your style.

At Ghost 13, we believe that every firearm deserves a case that's as unique as its owner. That's why we provide you with all the information and guidance you need to know on how to make a custom gun case. With these tips from our expert, Landen Hull, you'll be well on your way to creating a case that's both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Step 5: Testing and Adjusting Your Custom Gun Case

Now that you've put in all the work, it's time for the final step- testing and adjusting your custom gun case. This is the stage where you'll ensure that everything fits perfectly and make the necessary adjustments if needed.

Checking the Fit of Your Firearm and Accessories in the Case

Before you can call your project complete, you need to check whether your firearm and accessories fit snugly in the case. Place your firearm and other items in the cutouts you've made in the foam. They should fit perfectly without any excessive movement.

The purpose of the custom foam insert is to protect your firearm and accessories from damage during transport. As Landen Hull, our expert at Ghost 13, often emphasizes, the fit should be snug, but not too tight that it becomes difficult to retrieve your items.

Making Adjustments to the Foam and Other Elements as Needed

If your items don't fit as expected, don't worry. Part of learning how to make a custom gun case involves making adjustments. You may need to trim the foam a bit more if the fit is too tight or, in case of a loose fit, add a thin layer of foam for a snugger fit.

Remember to make these adjustments slowly and carefully. It's always better to cut away less and adjust further if needed. This is where your electric carving knife or sharp serrated blade comes in handy again.

If there are visible Sharpie markings, you can gently wipe these off with alcohol until clean.

Tips for Maintaining Your Custom Gun Case

Now that your custom gun case is ready, it's important to take care of it to ensure it lasts. Regularly clean the case and foam inserts to maintain their condition, making sure to remove any dirt or dust that may have accumulated.

However, that the foam inserts are not meant to last forever. Over time, they may start to wear out. When this happens, do not hesitate to replace them. We provide custom foam inserts that can be tailored to fit your specific needs.

And that's it! You've built your custom gun case. With some time, patience, and the right materials, you can create a case that not only protects your firearm but also reflects your style. As always, if you have any questions or need further assistance, don't hesitate to reach out to us at Ghost 13 - we're always here to help.


We've walked you through the steps of how to make a custom gun case, from choosing the right materials to ensuring security and adding personal touches. Let's quickly revisit these steps:

  1. Choose the Right Case and Prepare It: Select a case that's the right size for your firearm and prep it for customization.

  2. Customize the Case with Foam Inserts: Use polyethylene foam, the best material for gun cases according to our expert, Landen Hull, to create a snug fit for your firearm.

  3. Ensure Security: Replace standard latches with secure, lockable ones and consider additional security measures.

  4. Add Additional Features: Reinforce the case for durability, add functional features, and customize its look.

  5. Test and Adjust: Check the fit of your firearm and make any necessary adjustments.

We hope this guide has inspired you to try your hand at building your own custom gun case. It may seem like a complex task, but with a little patience and attention to detail, you can create a case that not only protects your firearm but also resonates with your unique style.

At Ghost 13, we believe in the importance of a well-made custom gun case. It's not just about safeguarding your firearm, but also about expressing your individuality and appreciation for craftsmanship. A case is more than just a functional item; it's an extension of your firearm's identity and your style.

Whether you're building your own case or looking for a unique, limited-release rifle bag, we encourage you to embrace the unmatched American spirit in custom gun cases. Check out our range of custom gun cases like George’s Delaware Rifle Bag and Uncle Sam Rifle Bag, all designed and manufactured in the USA with a plush protective interior that accommodates your rifle perfectly.

George’s Delaware Rifle Bag and Uncle Sam Rifle Bag - how to make a custom gun case

The journey to a perfect custom gun case begins with the first step. And we're here to guide you every step of the way.

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