Transporting firearms in a secure case is very important when it comes to protecting your firearms investments. Regardless if you are making a trip to the local range or flying across the country, it is important to have a secure protective case. There are a lot of great companies out there that make lockable, waterproof cases to hold your rifles, pistols, mags and other accessories securely, protecting them from getting crushed or banged up. Personally, I have been using Pelican Cases for over 2 decades now. They have always worked for me. The first case I ever got was a Pelican 1750. This was to house the first two long guns I ever owned, which was a Colt HBAR AR15 and a Mossberg 500 shotgun. I took my time and cut out all the shapes in the foam inserts provided with the case. It didn’t look that great but it worked. As time went on, I eventually sold both the long guns and got other firearms to replace them. Of course the foam inserts within the case were now an incorrect fit. So more cutting was needed to fit the new rifles. It worked but looked like hell. Looking back I think my 4 year old could have done a better job.

I eventually had to replace the insert because it was so torn up. During the search I came across a company called Eaton Tactical Innovations. ETI was created by 18 year Special Operations Veteran, Frank Eaton. Frank makes a variety of products from Holsters, Mag Holsters, Knives and Precision Cut Foam Inserts, which is of course what caught my attention.

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Frank uses a water jet process to precisely cut out the shape of your firearms and accessories out of closed cell-polyethylene. He chose this material as it is recyclable, crush and moisture resistant and is oil and solvent proof. It also isn’t messy like other foams I have used to cut out for cases. If you have ever done it you know what I am talking about. The foam that leaves your fingers sticky and black. Not the case with the ETI inserts.
Frank offers an ever growing variety of case inserts to suit your needs. You can search by case type, weapon type and which variant of chosen weapon best suites your needs. For my case, I chose the v1 insert for my 1750 case. The cost was $65 Washington’s for the foam insert. Note this is for the middle insert only. The foam base that came with your case must be used to complete the install.

This insert is specifically cut for an AR10 rifle with barrel lengths up to 20 inches. The insert features precision cut outs to securely house everything from the rifle, to the mags, ammo, binos, modified stocks, large and small optics, batteries and more. The process works pretty simple. ETI inserts use plucks. Plucks are shapes that are pre-cut into the foam insert. They are still attached to the main foam unit but can be removed easily with extremely minor cutting of a few “solid” tabs on each pluck shape. The ETI spec sheet for the v1 1750 case shows all the cut outs available.

In my case I simply laid the insert into the case on top of the solid foam base that came with my case (again, foam base not included). I plucked out all the shapes that fit my rifle and optic. The nice thing is that because my AR10 used a 16 inch barrel I was able to keep my suppressor attached within the case.

The beautiful thing about computers and precision cuts is changes to firearms designs and accessories can be easily updated with new future variants. During my install process, I found that my Leupold on top of my AR10 was longer than the provide cut out. No worries, I just removed the plucks to lengthen the space for the optic’s additional length. The problem is the optic has a tall elevation turret which wouldn’t fit without me actually cutting the foam. I contacted Frank about it and he revised the design of the turret plucks and shipped me another one the following week. I was then able to finish the install. Could I have cut it myself? Sure, but the precision cut is much better. After my shapes were the way I wanted and all the plucks had been removed I used spray glue and glued the cut out insert to the foam base. Keep in mind you don’t have to do that last step if you don’t want it permanent, however it will stay in place better if you do.

Once glued in place, I put the entire assembly in my hard case and was done. I now had a precision cut insert for my AR10 and accessories, that are within my trusted Pelican hard case. Now to be clear this isn’t a custom gun case in the sense that it will hold everything you put in there perfectly, nor was it intended to be. Frank and I talked about this and the intent is for the case to hold a wide variety of rifles and accessories based on the different variants available, but it will be up to the consumer to choose the best one for their needs. Can you cut your own? Of course, but it won’t look as good as an ETI cut case.

In summary, the Eaton Tactical Innovations, LLC cut case inserts is a great way to store your favorite firearms and accessories within your protective hard case. Its fast and easy to configure and looks great. Will it accommodate every flavor of firearm and configuration, of course not, but if you have something unique, give Frank a call. There is a good chance he has a variant in the works or he can work with you to configure an insert that will best fit your needs.

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Steve has been a firearms enthusiast for over 20 years and is currently an NRA lifetime member. In 1996 he joined the United States Navy and served as a Special Warfare Combat Crewman (SWCC) at Special Boat Unit 12 (Now renamed Special Boat Team 12). He made two tours during his time of service and spent most of his time in southeast Asia and the Middle Eastern theaters. Upon his Honorable Discharge in 2000, Steve spent the next 10 years earning his Masters Degree and state license as an Architect. Steve brings a unique perspective from both his tactical and design background and is a reviewer and contributor for Guns & Tactics Magazine, Defense Marketing Group and other media outlets.

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