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Product Profile: Plano Molding

If you need to put it in a box, Plano Molding has a storage and travel solution for you. Since 1952, Plano has been in the business of outfitting bow and gun hunters, fishermen, law enforcement officers, and home handymen.

Because many archers and bowhunters travel to hunt elk and caribou—or shoot in IBO and ASA tournaments—a hard-sided, durable case is a requirement to protect precious bows and arrows. But they also need a quality soft-sided case for smaller, more-local trips—and Plano offers several models of those as well. All of the effort and time and expense of tuning and selecting the proper arrow and matching the length of vane to arrow speed is useless if, once in camp, the equipment is dinged or outright trashed.

Plano, in other words, specializes in helping good shooting become great shooting by offering travel and storage insurance for your gear—insurance in the form of quality boxes. Hard-sided cases from this Illinois manufacturer have developed a reputation for lightweight strength and security, and for 2013, Plano rolled out two new bow cases all bowhunters need to see.

The innovative, new model #1144 ($85; exterior 43x19x7.5 inches) is designed for today’s parallel limb bows and holds a variety of additional gear including arrows. According to Plano’s Ben Royce, marketing and pro staff coordinator, the rectangular and modular #1144 is adaptable for the perfect custom fit. The internal Pillar Locks can be repositioned in the plucked foam depending upon the specific bow model (a case with “plucked foam” means the foam is not pre-shaped for a bow. The purchaser simply pulls out or “plucks” individual pre-incised squares for his or her bow’s shape.) The #1144 is sealed against dust and moisture and includes holders for six arrows in the lid plus a #1309 utility box. Three interior straps and strong latches are included.

The new model #1108 UltraLight case ($25; exterior 40.6x14x3 inches) is designed for the youth or starter market. Not only does this case look just like the big case carried by dad or mom, the interior features protective egg-crate foam, as well as Plano’s proven Pillar Lock system to prevent damage by compression, and pro-latch locking system and interior tabs.

Plano technology is built on heavy-duty injection molded plastic. Plastic offers a lightweight, resilient, and economical container. In an era when airlines charge by the pound for luggage, a plastic case is far cheaper to tote than an aluminum case.

In former generations, plastic was considered low quality. But in the past 25 years, plastic, making use of space-age polymers and synthetics, has come to encompass a huge family of products including “never-wear-out” parts of automobile engines from Detroit, to superior arrow shafts manufactured in Korea.

Plano injection molded cases can be built water-tight. The model #108110 Hard Sided Bow Case ($120) in the Bone Collector Series, for example, has extra-thick walls and a double thick side wall with rubber all-weather seal to effectively keep out dirt and water.

In virtually all of its bow cases, Plano has effectively addressed potential side-impact crushing with its ingenious “Pillar Lock” interior system.

Pillar lock is simple—as are most great solutions—but elegant. Strategically placed so as not to interfere with a bow’s strings and cables, interlocking posts are molded into the bow case, one post on each side. When the case is closed, the posts meet and match. This gives a case internal structure and strength so that crushing is eliminated.

Plano offers a variety of cases, hard-sided and soft-, to fit any travel need. In addition, the company offers a variety of specialized accessory cases: broadheads, arrows, miscellaneous gear. Every traveling bowhunter knows how much “miscellaneous gear” can be accumulated—for both practical use, or those “just in case” emergencies.

Contact Plano Molding at (630)552-3111; www.planomolding.com.


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