At the beginning of the year, Magpul announced their DAKA Rifle Case R44. I was already impressed with their DAKA Grid Organizer for Pelican Cases but I am a Magpul fan so I had to have the R44 Rifle Case. So when it came out in July, I immediately ordered one online. I have used it for the range and on a recent hunting trip which required checking it in on an airplane. So here is my review of the R44.
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DAKA Rifle Case R44
It was Lucas D’s review of the DAKA Grid Organizer for Pelican V800 that inspired me to write this review. I got the Magpul R44 DAKA rifle case because I do not have a Pelican V800 or a Pelican Vault V730. When I looked up how much those cases cost and the added cost of the corresponding DAKA grid organizer, the R44 just made more sense. It was a little bit cheaper and has some features that Magpul designed that make the R44 slightly better.
The R44 comes with the Grid Organizer, eight triple blocks and eight double blocks.
The internal length of the Magpul R44 is 44.25 inches while the Pelican V800 is 53 inches long. The V730 is similarly sized to the R44. The R44 is 18.4 lbs empty and 21.4 lbs with the grid organizer which is close to the V730 with factory pick and pluck foam.
R44 Exterior Features
The R44 lid has tie-dye-looking circles which I assume is part of the molding process. The Magpul logo is prominent in the middle.
With the R44 case oriented so you can open it, there is a handle on the left-hand side. This is for rolling the case on the ground.
The handle stays flat against the case with some detents. Pull it out and it is hinged. If you let go the handle stays propped as you see in the picture below.
On the opposite end are the wheels and a fixed flush handle to help manipulate the case.
The folding handles were designed to have the same cross-section as their pistol grips so they are comfortable to grasp. On the long side is the main carrying handle. It is similar to the towing handle just wider.
It has the same detents for keeping it stowed or propped open.
On either side of the long handle are paint pen dot matrices so you can mark your R44 however you like.
One of the features that sold me on the Magpul R44 DAKA hard case was the latch design. The R44 uses two large latches that are easy to open and lock. The latches cannot be opened accidentally unless the release button is pressed. What is more interesting is the integrated locking pass-through in the latches. When locked with a padlock, the latches cannot be opened. See those two rectangular slots? That is for use with their velcro loop tie-down.
The R44 came with four velcro loops. Here is the velcro loop used to help tie down your padlock after you have locked the R44.
With the padlock secured, the velcro loop secures the lock body up against the side of the latch. Due to the recessed design, the lock is protected from getting bumped around by rough baggage handlers or scratching up the inside of your truck bed or trunk.
You can also use zip ties if you lose the Velcro loops.
R44 Interior Features
One feature that I did not think of until it was pointed out in Magpul’s video explaining the R44 DAKA hard case was the little pockets all along the perimeter of the case. These are used to store small accessories like batteries. I use them to store the locks for the case and the keys. Now they are always with the case. Unless I am traveling and the keys are on me or in a carry-on.
In the photo below, you can see the waterproof gasket in the lid. Once closed, it keeps moisture out while allowing pressure to equalize.
The Grid Organizer is awesome. It is like LEGO for gun cases. The blocks plug into the holes of the organizer platform and you use them as partitions or supports for the items in the R44. In this case, I used them to hold an AR pistol and rifle along with boxes of ammunition.
Another hidden feature that I would not have thought of, until I saw the video, is being able to remove a panel of the organizer. Now you have a pseudo basement for more storage. See the photo below. I store my suppressors in DAKA pouches and keep them in this recessed section along with PMAGs. I only store items here that are flat and won’t scratch my guns.
As you can see in the image above, there is an open cell foam layer under the grid organizer. The lid also has the same open-cell foam. This will absorb water if you leave it open and it rains. So be mindful of that.
The lid foam can be removed if you so desire. Or you could store flat things here like NFA forms and a cleaning rod.
Final Thoughts On The Magpul R44 DAKA Case
I was actually surprised at how big the R44 is. It just barely fits in the back of my Toyota Highlander with the third row folded down. If I try to position it lengthways, the rear hatch will not close.
I took this case with me, with the exact loadout you saw above, on a hunting trip to Texas. It weighed just under 50 lbs when I checked the R44 in on my flight and had no issues with TSA or the airline. I am a little concerned about the lack of latches on the ends of the case but Magpul states they designed the R44 to resist break-in, even the hinges are nested in a polymer housing to prevent tampering. Another concern is the warranty on the Magpul R44. Magpul has an unwritten warranty that people say “they will take care of you” while Pelican is famous for their lifetime warranty. However, upon closer inspection, the amazing Pelican lifetime warranty only applies to their injection molded cases, not their Vault line of cases.
At $339 the Magpul R44 DAKA hard case is not cheap but it is a little cheaper than the Pelican offerings. Plus the design features the Magpul put into this case are definite benefits and to me, make the R44 a better rifle case.
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