New iPhone case uses gun grip material

IPhone case manufacturer Element Case has partnered with Hogue --the largest manufacturer of firearm grips and gun stocks in the U.S. -- to create the first full line of smartphone cases from the same shock-absorbing polymer material used in its military spec gun grips.

"Some of our best selling cases had been our tactical styles,” Element CEO Jeff Sasaki told “It was only logical to push further in that direction for its new lineup.”

The new models in the Sector line of high-end cases -- which run as high as $300, as much as an iPhone itself -- are made from Hogue’s polymer grip material, which is well regarded by marksmen and gun enthusiasts for its tactile and shock-absorbing qualities.

The material is a version of G10, which the military uses for radio antennae, among other things. It’s very dense and light and, of course, super tough.

"It’s basically military grade fiberglass," Sasaki said.

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The high cost of the cases is partly due to the tremendous engineering work that goes into the products, from resin-impregnated wood that adds strength to finding G10 -- and a manufacturer willing to work with the stuff.

"We just focus on really, really cool badass cases. The rest we’ll just figure out," Sasaki said with a laugh.

Element Case was founded in Sasaki’s garage in 2007, though it didn’t sell its first case, a model called the Jewel, until 2008. More famous garage-manufacturers quickly took notice.

“[Apple founder] Steve Wozniak ordered a Jewel within the first 10 or 15 minutes of our launch,” Sasaki told  “It was me and a couple people in my garage making them.”

The company announced the partnership with Hogue last year and is showing off its full line of gun grips at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show. Grips run from $50 to $200 and are available online at or

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is an update to a previous version of the story, which contained references that did not describe the precise functionality of the product’s use with the iPhone.