Building a Custom-Fit Storage Case for your Thompson Center Encore

A hot topic for any TC Encore owner is storage; barrel storage, frame storage, assembled firearm storage… take your pick. Forum member Rick Jacker, gave wrote this awesome article on how to create your own custom Encore pistol case!

Thompson Center Encore 7mm-08 Pistol Case

Thompson Center Encore 7mm-08 Pistol Case

After a couple of months buying and trading for my components, I finally put it all together and felt good about the build. Sitting in front of me was an Encore in 7mm-08, scoped and ready to range check. Not the prettiest kitten in the litter, but one I felt would get er done in the field, and at the range.
Now I would need a case for her. Thinking ahead, I would need one that would be Airline approved. The urge is on me for an out of state hunt, and flying is by far the easiest mode of transportation on these old bones. I would also like one that is aesthetically pleasing ,and would offer room for maybe, one more scoped barrel. A slot for a box of rounds would be nice also.

The search was on. Limited funds and champagne tastes, oh boy. I checked all the big box stores like Cabela’s, Midway Supply, Gander Mountain, etc… Reading some of the reviews on the products scared the jeepers out of me. Holes in the cases at airports, cases cracking open in the extreme temps, not what I wanted to hear. Any of the metal cases were either a huge size or mega expensive. After about a week or so of on line searching, and many forums later I broke down and went to the eBay.
What I found was that folks selling gun/pistol cases thought that guys and gals were made of money. A bit of research led me to camera cases and one of my favorite venders KEH camera supply. I’ve bought stuff from them for years and felt comfortable to bid on a Zero Halliburton Aluminum 21”X13”X6” Case used camera case. The measurements were right, 21” by 13” by 6” just enough room to shadow out a nest for my baby. I ended up winning it for $83.00, not bad if it looked like the auction pictures.

Thompson Center Encore 7mm-08 Pistol

Thompson Center Encore 7mm-08 Pistol Case

Next I would need some quality foam as the stuff that was in it did not look like it would work out. I found a fella in Up State NY that was selling #105 foam insert kits for the case I had just bought. Ordered one for $46.00 that came in 3 pieces with a knife to cut the layout. The egg crate top piece was 2.25” thick and the bottom liner a nice 1” thick. The outline sheet was 2” thick and they were made of Ester Urethane Foam. Stuff makes for good cutting and great impact resistance. Got both the case and the foam kit in 2 days for a grand total of $129.00 and at this point I had no idea if it was going to work or not. The case looked almost new and cleaned up with a bit of windex nicely.

As I mentioned the foam that came with it was not what I was looking for, but would be excellent for shipping barrels and Encore stuff. It would not go to waste around here. Here is what the case looked like with out the foam. It is extremely light and strong.

Thompson Center Encore 7mm-08 Pistol Case Empty

Thompson Center Encore 7mm-08 Pistol Case Empty

I put the egg crate top piece and the 1 inch thick bottom in, and just like the vendor stated, it fits like a glove. He told me they laser cut this stuff to mil spec. and I believe him.

Thompson Center Encore 7mm-08 Pistol Case Padding

Thompson Center Encore 7mm-08 Pistol Case Padding

Now for the hard part. The lay out and cutting of the outline sheet. I found that the blue marker is easier to see but does leave some outline marks. Not a big deal but I am mention it, as it is noticeable in the camera lens, but not so much to the naked eye.

Here are the layout tools and the positioning of the gun. Keeping in mind that it is recommended to have at least an inch around the gun for maximum protection from drops, or other “mishandling” mistakes.

Thompson Center Encore 7mm-08 Pistol Case Outline

Thompson Center Encore 7mm-08 Pistol Case Outline

Outline traced. I keep in mind that I need to cut at least 1/8th to 1/4th of an inch inboard of the trace line to hold her snug. The cutting goes well, not as hard as I pictured it would be. Here is what the trail fit looks like,and the cutout piece.

Thompson Center Encore 7mm-08 Pistol Case Padding Cutout

Thompson Center Encore 7mm-08 Pistol Case Padding Cutout

Notice that the gun rests below the surface of the outline sheet. I now cut the removed 2 inch thick outline cutout in half. This yields a 1 inch thick piece that I now put back in the cut out. This raises the gun slightly above the surface of the outline sheet by about half of an inch. Just enough for the egg crate top foam to compress for a secure placement. I now have 2 inches of the foam all the way around my baby for max protection.

Here is the final outcome. Plenty of room left. 🙂 Yes, now I can go search out that 15” .243 cal. Barrel and scope, and still have room for a couple boxes of rounds.

Thompson Center Encore 7mm-08 Pistol Case Fitting

Thompson Center Encore 7mm-08 Pistol Case Fitting

Have a good and safe time out there my fellow Encore friends. Rick J. kc2htv

Encore Classifieds has this Gun Case for sale in our online store! Buy it here: Zero Halliburton Aluminum 21”X13”X6” Case

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