The Magpul CTR
The Magpul CTR is the best collapsible stock the author has used. Photos Dave Spaulding
Magpul’s MIAD Grip
Magpul’s MIAD Grip adjusts to any hand size. Photos Dave Spaulding
Magpul Industries makes mission-serious gear.Photos Dave Spaulding
Magpul magazines are some of the most reliable available. Their side-viewing windows are not a gimmick.Photos Dave Spaulding
FEATURED IN TACTICS AND WEAPONS
Although I m an admitted fan of the pump-action shotgun, I m very pleased the law enforcement community is embracing the .223-caliber/5.56mm (they are slightly different) carbine. While its effectiveness as a military weapon has long been debated, this lightweight, high-velocity round is just the ticket for American police operations. Available in any number of weapon configurations, you can find a .223 carbine for just about every agency s need. Remington s 7615 functions almost identically to its pump-action 870 shotgun, which makes initial training a simple endeavor. And, if you want to avoid a military look, the Ruger Mini-14 will do the job.
Nevertheless, the AR-15 has quickly become the choice of law enforcement agencies nationwide, for good reason. The weapon system has been around a long time, and is battle-proven in numerous conflicts. Because many law enforcement officers are military veterans, the gun is already familiar to many serving and incoming police officers. But most importantly, the gun proves reliable. Yes, a currently raging argument claims the AR s gas blowback system is dirty and a piston-driven action is more desirable. While this may be true in the desert of Iraq, most law enforcement officers do not work in such conditions, and keeping the bolt surface and related parts clean so the gun will reliably function is not really a problem.
What can prove problematic, however, is many officers and agencies desire to hang a number of unnecessary accessories on the gun. The fact: Few after-market accessories are really needed. When it comes to the AR-15, less is more.
But what does need to be addressed on the factory-issued AR platform are the areas where the gun comes in contact with the shooter and where the ammunition comes in contact with the gun. I m talking about stocks, grips and magazines. You need a reliable magazine to keep the gun working, but there is a large disparity in the quality of AR magazines. Additionally, the factory s standard pistol grip and collapsible stock are designed to fit a wide range of people, but do they fit anyone well?
Fortunately, a company has addressed these problems. Founded in 1998 by former Recon Marine Richard Fitzpatrick, Magpul Industries has evolved from a manufacturer of a simple, molded magazine-retention loop to a company dedicated to creating serious solutions for those who go in harm s way.
Magpul s new AR magazines feature side windows and are second to none in quality and design. Available in metal (the MAGLEVEL) or polymer (the PMAG), these magazines enable the shooter to quickly view how much ammo remains. While some may feel this is a gimmick, I can see where knowing how much ammo you have left in a fight can be a real good thing. It would certainly have a bearing on what action(s) you take during the course of an altercation.
Both magazines come with enhanced self-leveling followers to boost reliability, chrome-silicone steel springs to resist fatigue and pop-off dust covers to alleviate pressure on the feed lips during storage. I ve tested my samples by throwing them in the snow and dirt and even stomping on them, and I have yet to see one fail. Don t confuse Magpul polymer magazines with others that look similar this is well-designed and totally reliable.
The Screw-On Grip
Magpul s MIAD (mission adaptable) Grip screws on to replace the standard, factory AR grip, which I ve found to be too small for just about everyone. As most of you know, a big part of trigger control comes from placing your index finger properly and consistently on the trigger face. With the standard AR grip, it s not uncommon to see shooters with too much finger on the trigger due to the grip s abbreviated size. The brilliance of the MIAD grip is it allows you to quickly and easily size the grip to your hand, which includes wearing gloves. You can replace the front and back straps with your choice from multiple sizes and configurations. The pebble-grain stippling offers a solid hold without being too aggressive, and you can configure the hollow grip to store batteries, ammo or a spare bolt and firing pin depending on the fitted core you use.
The Collapsible Stock
Officers tend to either love or hate collapsible AR stocks, and after much trial and error I have come out on the side of those who prefer the ability to adjust the length of the stock based on what they are doing or wearing. The original collapsible stock of the 1960s CAR-15 was awful, and while it s still available, most will replace it for something that offers a better cheek and shoulder weld as well as tighter fit to the buffer tube to reduce annoying wobble. Magpul s CTR (compact/type restricted) stock is a slide-on replacement for the M4-style stock body that will fit both military-spec and commercial diameter tubes. Designed for total stability, the CTR has a shielded release lever that works in concert with a locking device to prevent movement once you properly position the stock. While it is an extra-cost option, I strongly recommend the rubber butt pad as it offers a solid shoulder lock, allowing you to raise and lower the gun from the cheek without the gun shifting.
I cannot overemphasize the need to resist hanging tacti-cool stuff on your duty AR-15. If the piece of equipment in question does not meet a need or solve a legitimate problem for the shooter, it s probably not necessary. I read a recent military study that concluded the more accessories that are hung onto the AR platform, the less reliable it will be. These items from Magpul are real solutions to real problems. Don t do stupid stuff to your AR-15, and it will serve you well in even the tightest of spots.
Magpul Industries Corp.
PO Box 17697
Boulder, CO 80308