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Overkill comes at a weight expense
on September 6, 2010
I replaced my factory supplied rifle case (for the Sig Sauer 556 Classic SWAT) with the Pelican 1700 because the original case could not fit any mounted optics. Additionally, I wanted to have a forward grip mounted and that wouldn't fit either. The 1700 fits the Sig 556, with optics and forward grip, either with the stock collapsed (barely) or with plenty of room to spare with the stock folded. To fit a folded stock, I cut partially into the top foam (about .75"). I did the same thing for the magazines. I also had room for four standard 30 round magazines, the backup diopter site, a Sig 229R .40, and three magazines for the 229.
Cutting the foam was easier than expected. I initially planned to use a hot nichrome wire to cut the foam from a stencil, but found that a serrated knife worked just fine. I followed the instructions and used chalk to outline, then cut in about 1/4" from the outline. This creates a very snug fit. In the end this was exactly what I was looking for to carry my gear to the range. It's overkill in that I'm sure I could drop the loaded case from a three story building and the gear would survive (and I really don't need that). All that protection adds to the weight, and while I knew it would be heavy, it's a lot heavier than the no frills factory case.
Only things I would change is the non-collapsible side handle and the fact that it won't stand up on the narrow edge with the wheels (minor issues). Here's a tip when arranging your gear: consider the weight distribution so the case is balanced from the handle.