Earlier this year Magpul announced a new rifle case and I have been lucky enough to get the Magpul R44 DAKA on loan for a few weeks to test out just how durable it is. From traveling overseas to New Zealand each year with my hunting rifle to loading my car full of gear and heading to the range, a quality hard case quickly becomes a necessity to protect your rifle and optics.
Precision rifle setups can start to add up, once you have the rifle, optic, mounts and bipod you can be looking at a large investment. To avoid that investment getting knocked around and damaged on the trip, a solid rifle case is a must have to protect your rifle and scope setup from damage.
Damage to your rifle setup can mess with the sight alignment of your scope or worse break something on the rifle or scope. After spending time and money getting data for your rifle and knowing adjustments needed at different ranges, the last thing you want is for that data to be wrong from a bump that could have been prevented.
I’ll be comparing the Magpul R44 DAKA case to my Pelican Storm iM3200 and see how they stack up against each other.
Quick Stats: Magpul R44 DAKA
|Overall dimensions||48.0 x 19.7 x 6.5 in.|
|External height||6.5 in.|
|Internal height||5.5 in.|
|External width||19.7 in.|
|Internal width||17.0 in.|
|External length||48.0 in.|
|Internal length||44.25 in.|
The overall length of the case is 48″ which is very similar to the iM3200 at 47.2″. The DAKA case is slightly wider at 19″ and the Pelican at 16″. Weight wise the Magpul R44 comes in at 18.4lb/8.3kg empty and the iM3200 at 17.6lb/8kg. Both cases feel extremely similar in their durability and there is no clear difference that sticks out.
From a lot of use over the past four years I have come to like how durable the wheels and how smooth the latches are to operate on my Pelican Case. Having used other Magpul gear I have come to know how solid their products are, luckily the R44 is no different. This case is made in the USA and shares the robust construction that is standard with Magpul kit.
One major difference between this and my Pelican iM3200 is that the latches can’t be opened with a padlock attached. This is a much better feature compared to the Pelican case. When flying with firearms you want to know they are secure as possible and this feature edges out the Pelican for security. It’s also nice to only have two latches instead of six on my Pelican.
An interesting feature is the velcro padlock tie down loops. My lock in the above photo is a little too small to demonstrate, however each latch has zip tie pass through holes that allow you to secure the lock to the case, protecting the lock from damage during transport or from scratching up a vehicle in transit. The case comes with four velcro straps for this purpose.
For transporting the case around there is a handle on the top and one on the left-hand side. There are wheels on the opposite side which help make transport a bit easier, this is especially handy in airports where I am often transporting the case on foot for a decent distance.
The biggest feature that immediately stands out to me is the grid organiser. I’m used to the foam inserts of the Pelican case and jamming gear around my rifle to keep it secure, however Magpul have a neater solution in the form of these blocks. The case comes with eight double blocks and eight triple blocks to position around your gear to ensure it stays in place
Internally there is plenty of space for a couple of rifles and gear. As my main centerfire rifle has a 26″ barrel, folding the stock up keeps it compact and makes room for more gear. The blocks attach to the holes on the case interior allowing you to configure them to your needs. This is a great idea that allows you to change up the configuration for different rifle systems. I have previously had foam inserts for my Pelican case cut to fit a rifle, but after selling the rifle the foam cutout is useless and very expensive to replace. Having a more adaptable system is beneficial in the long term.
The internal panels can also be removed if you are loading the case up with gear that won’t scratch your rifle. The foam from the lid can also be removed. Shooting outdoors sometimes the only protection for my rifles is when they aren’t in use is a weapons case. The R44 DAKA is waterproof and once closed the gasket within the lid keeps everything sealed up.
My long lost Lego skills were back in action and I positioned the blocks around my rifle and gear to keep it steady during transport. It’s surprisingly easy and satisfying using the blocks to secure the gear, once pressed into the holes they lock in and provide a soft and secure surface.
Dimensions, weight and durability its very similar to the competition but where this shines is its modular functionality and security. This is a high-quality case built for multiple rifle systems not just one with a specific foam cut out. The two latches are more in line with what I want when securing my gear when traveling through airports. High end rifle cases such as the Magpul R44 DAKA aren’t cheap but it hits the mark for a high-quality rifle case providing good value at the price point.