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Magpul DAKA GRID Case Organizer: Best Gun Case Upgrade?

Photos by After Action Photography

Without a doubt, Magpul has been a driving force across the firearms world for decades. They’ve consistently surprised us with products we never knew we needed or wanted until the company released them, seemingly out of the blue. Their next bold yet simple solution to a persistent challenge is the Magpul DAKA hard case organization system. 

Now when we say system, that’s a unique statement. As an ever-evolving solution to storing various items, DAKA will help you safely store everything from drones and camera gear to rifles and cans. 

At SHOT Show 2023, they released their next addition to that system which came with a great surprise, the DAKA case and DAKA GRID organization retrofit for Pelican cases.

We were able to test out the DAKA GRID organization system utilizing a Pelican Vault V730. This case is a good fit for anything from camera equipment to musical instruments and firearms. When you buy hard-sided cases, they come packed with high-density foam. 

Only some of these foams are created equal, but Pelican has consistently been the standard to measure all other cases by. The challenge with this foam is that it is difficult to cut precisely and cannot be changed once cut. The foam inserts also aren’t cheap to replace and are not as readily accessible. If you’ve been paying attention and are lucky, there are already DAKA demo displays at some significant outdoor retailers. 

The legacy inserts also are susceptible to breakdown being petroleum-based when introduced to solvents and lubricants, like those often found on firearms. While more convenient in designing your layout, the pick-and-pull foam is uniquely susceptible to this breakdown cycle. Liquid accumulating between the small squares tends to accelerate the breakdown process. Plus, this pick-and-pull option doesn’t generally hold up as well as its sturdier solid foam brethren. 

The other side of that coin is the process of carving out your solid foam insert is akin to black magic without a laser table. We’ve been trying to use long razor blades or heated wires to cut this foam for years, with dubious results often being the outcome. 

And you only get one shot — whatever that finished product looks like is what you have to live with. These have been some of the most significant issues with legacy foam over extended, heavy use. Naturally, Magpul saw a set of problems we’ve all complained about for years and have introduced an innovative option. 

DAKA as a system seems to mirror the phrase, “Oh, you need to store something? There’s a DAKA pouch for that.” As a natural part of that progression, the case option comes in two forms. What you’ll find most prevalently in the market at the time of this article's writing is the replacement insert for Pelican Vault V730 and V800. 

More replacement inserts will accompany Magpul’s complete cases for rifles and pistols in time. Of course, these cases don’t need to be used exclusively for firearms.

The true magic of DAKA GRID is its ability to be modular on the fly. For those fortunate enough to play the physical version of Battleship, this case's design and use will become familiar in short order. 

If Magpul wanted to have some fun, they could release spacers as four and six sections. It’s not hard to imagine grunts actually playing Battleship with cases in the future. Currently, the inserts come in two and three-block spacers, which can be oriented vertically or horizontally, with more insert types to come. 

That gives the system a level of future-proofing, ensuring that your purchase of the replacement insert or the coming Magpul cases won’t need to be replaced like an iPhone in two years. Magpul was also wise enough to make the spacer blocks rounded on corners. This means that oblong objects such as the grip of a pistol or AR magazines laid flat can find a space to fit snugly. 

The foam of the base insert and the spacers are all the same density, which is also noticeably stiffer than even the foam that comes with the cases. You should know a few things when replacing the foam in your existing case.

First, do the thing that many of us tend not to do with the new fantastic item we purchased: read the directions. In that simple, picture-rich guide, you’ll discover that you need to keep some of the foam that comes with your case. 

This is critical; if you throw away all of the foam that comes with your case, the DAKA GRID case system will not function correctly as a replacement. It will need some time to settle when installing the system, so if things don’t seem to fit perfectly from the start, there’s a reason for it. 

Once you’ve taken on the task of reading and executing the directions accurately, you’ll have a whole new case internally! Now you can play with the spacers to your heart's content, and yes, there will be spacers available for purchase a-la-carte in the future should you find your OCD in overdrive (we can relate).

Magpul has big plans for DAKA and many more options for the commercial market and government entities. The upcoming full release of their case is also eagerly awaited. They took to heart some of the biggest challenges we face when using hard cases, especially dealing the those in TSA who think all problems can be solved at the end of a bolt cutter (or worse). 

You will be satisfied with their new offerings, from recessed hasps to better locking points and wheels. Thanks to a robust distribution network, the likelihood you’ll get to put your hands on all of these options before purchasing is good. 

There was a time when people scoffed at the idea of a polymer magazine. Now they are the first thing many reach for, and Magpul is mainly responsible for that decision. They are poised to do the same thing with cases. 

Only time will tell what other surprising additions will come to DAKA, but rest assured; they will be something you never knew you needed until Magpul showed us what they can do.

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