New Innovative Products, Inc. of Pine Level, North Carolina recently sent two examples from their line of Starlight Cases for review. As a bit of background, New Innovative Products is a high tech design and manufacturing company specializing in producing precision molded, high-impact polymer resin cases through their Starlight Cases division, which are designed to protect contents from shock and impact. Typical users of Starlight Cases would be military personnel, law enforcement, fire/first responders, firearm owners, photographers, scuba divers or anyone requiring a sturdy protective case to transport sensitive or precision equipment in.
New Innovative was founded by retired U.S. Navy veteran Steve Ramos. Mr. Ramos, a U.S. Naval Academy electrical and mechanical engineering graduate, has over twenty-three years experience in the Navy’s nuclear submarine program, having earned graduate degrees in nuclear reactor engineering/physics, and oceanography/ocean engineering while in the silent service. After his time in the Navy, and a subsequent stint at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Ramos developed a proprietary high-impact polymer resin formula with which to mold protective cases with that was significantly lighter, yet just as strong and durable, as the standard aluminum cases then commonly in use.
The Starlight Cases sent over for review included one of Starlight’s 16” long cases (model SC-061016) appropriate for handguns or smaller objects needing a high level of protection. The other case was a similarly constructed 52” long rifle case (model 061352). The model number sequence corresponds to the height, width and length of the case. As example: SC-061016 is 6” high, 10” wide and 16” long.
Both cases are lined with layers of high density foam which the user can cut to obtain a customized fit for their gear. Upon inspection it was evident that the watertight/airtight cases were indeed “precision” products. These aren’t your typical discount store thin-walled plastic gun cases with flimsy hinges and latches. These are military grade pieces of equipment with rigid, non-warping shells and ample foam interiors. Starlight advises that all of their case shells are injection molded using their proprietary virgin resin material, and that no recycled or blemished plastic materials are used in construction. New Innovative Products claims that they are the only high-end precision case manufacturer who can make this claim.
All cases feature rubber “O” ring waterproofing gaskets, pressure equalization valves, secure latches and hinges and spring loaded stainless steel handles which combine to make them ideally suited for securing and transporting firearms and other sensitive items. All of the cases will float, even when laden with guns and gear, up to certain weight limits and based on the individual model size. As example the 52” rifle case will float with 175 lbs contained inside. Another interesting and smart feature found on the rifle case were the patented latch locks incorporating stainless steel spring loaded pins which securely hold each of the four latches in place in the locked position so they cannot be inadvertently popped open during handling or transport. To open simply use your thumb to push the pin out of the way and pop the latch open with your fingers. Molded padlock holes on each half of the case shells allow for affixing locks. Optional brass inserts for these holes serve to provide additional strengthening. Lastly, an optional wheel kit with a spring loaded handle allows the larger rifle cases to be wheeled around instead of carried. This is a smart feature as the longer rifle cases are designed to accommodate up to four scoped rifles in two alternating layers.
Starlight Cases come in twelve different sizes and a variety of colors, each of which are constructed to the same high standards of quality and workmanship. Some of the testing protocols employed by Starlight included: Watertight integrity testing down to 400’ depths, blasting cases with a 27,000 psi water cannon, dropping them from a 5-story building (only surface scratches – no dents or cracks!), and my personal favorite – driving over a case with an M-113 armored personnel carrier with no damage whatsoever to the case’s integrity. The Starlight website shows pictures of this “extreme” testing regimen.
Configuring the cases for some of my firearms proved easy enough. I simply arranged the items on the foam and lightly traced their outline with a pencil. I used the supplied retractable razor blade knife to cut cleanly and evenly through the foam, just to the inside of the traced outline. A steady hand here is required so that you cut squarely through the 1 ¾” foam so as not to “hollow” it out, thereby causing the hole to be a bit oversized. I found that laying the foam to be cut on top of another piece of old foam and cutting all the way through was the best method. It allowed me to focus on following the outline and keeping the blade squared up and not worrying about pushing the knife blade into the supporting surface. After cutting the foam and removing the material, voila’, I had a custom-cut, not to mention spiffy looking, interior for my firearms.
Given Steve Ramos’ engineering and physics background it is not surprising that all of his Starlight Cases exceed the U.S. military’s MIL-C-4150J testing specification for mil-spec equipment cases. The U.S. military has combat deployed these cases successfully in the dusty, sandy, salty and high temperature conditions found in Operation Desert Storm, Bosnia, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Additionally Starlight Cases far exceed the Air Transport Association’s (ATA) Specification 300 requirements for cases used in air transport. The North American Hunting Club has conferred their Seal of Approval on them. Rocker and firearms/hunting enthusiast Ted Nugent uses them for his guns.
If you’re looking for a high quality, precision case for your firearms give Starlight Cases a serious look. Support the home team as they are proudly manufactured here in the U.S.A. using U.S. materials and components. Additionally all cases are backed by a lifetime warranty. New Innovative Products, Inc./Starlight Cases is a service disabled, veteran owned business. You can see all of their Starlight cases at www.starlightcases.com, or you can contact them at (877) 782-7544 / (919) 965-8643.
Reviewed By: B.T. Davis