A large number of companies supply gear for law enforcement and military applications. Some of the products are good; others aren t so good. It's rare for a company to introduce an entire product line that s wholly embraced, from the most basic and inexpensive to the high end, but Magpul Industries has accomplished this. From its humble beginnings making an easy removal attachment that slides on the bottom of an AR-15 magazine to advanced weapons design (the Masada) to a hugely successful training component (Magpul Dynamics), Magpul has enjoyed a level of success that other suppliers of combative gear wish they could achieve.
Log on to www.magpul.com and watch the header. It s a series of photos calling attention to world events, human conflict and the men and women who take on such challenges. The photos are highlighted by famous and not-so-famous quotes that put each photo into perspective. The site is a true indicator of what Magpul wants its products to be the best the company can offer to those who go in harm's way.
Founded by Richard Fitzpatrick, a former Recon Marine with special operations experience who wanted to make products that would make life easier for the soldier or Marine in the field, the company's original product was a molded, plastic device that allowed a Marine to easily pull a magazine clear of their pouch. (Before the Magpul, military and law enforcement personnel would tape paracord to the bottom of their magazines to give them something to grab when trying to withdraw the magazine from the deep-set design of the standard military-style magazine pouch.) The product proved so successful that models for the M-16, FN-FAL and the H & K MP-5 submachine gun soon followed.
Other products that improved the AR-15 magazine followed, including floor plates, springs and drop-in followers (a self-leveling design that enhanced feed reliability). Of course, it didn t take long for Magpul to design its own magazine, making the body from space-age polymer that s so strong you can drive a truck across it and it will still work. Many knowledgeable rifle shooters consider the Magpul magazine the most reliable AR-15 magazine ever made. The newest version has a clear window in the side so shooters can see at a glance how much ammo they have left. Some will call this a gimmick, but I prefer to refer to it as a nice feature to have in a fight.
After magazines, Magpul improved the standard stock and grip of the AR-15. As anyone who has shot a rifle knows, getting a consistent cheek weld on the stock is important. Although the standard M-16 fixed stock offers enough surface, the collapsible version standard on the M-4 carbine is lacking. Dubbed the Precision Rifle Stock (PRS), this stock is adjustable for both height and length of pull. At its shortest, it s about the length of an A1-type stock and extends about half an inch longer than an A2 stock. It also features a machined, billet butt plate, stainless-steel shafts and aluminum ball detent knobs. The stock body features a removable end cap and integrated Picatinny rail mount. It s a drop-in replacement for standard AR-15/M-16 full-size stocks and uses stock A1/A2 rifle receiver extension (buffer tube) without the A2 spacer.
Next came the Combat Type Restricted (CTR), a drop-in replacement for the traditional telescoping style stock with one that offers more cheek surface, as well as a lever that locks the stock in place. Like the PRS, it s made from space-age polymers that stand up well to field conditions while keeping the gun light. In addition, users can add a rubber butt pad with spacers or cheek risers in the event a high-mounted optic is used.
Some may wonder why a rubber pad is desirable. It s not to tame the recoil of the 5.56, but to keep the stock from walking on the shoulder during rapid fire. Throughout the years, I ve seen this problem solved a number of ways, including such options as gluing rubber to the rear of the stock and spreading on a layer of Shoe Goo or Goop rubber glue and letting it dry. Adding the rubber pad to the end of the CTR is a much better and more permanent solution. A less expensive version of the CTR, Magpul Original Equipment (MOE) stock, is also available. It doesn t have the anti-wobble locking feature or the QD Swivel insert, but other than this, the MOE is made to the same high standards as the CTR.
Universal Battle Rifle (UBR) stock may very well be my favorite of the Magpul stocks. The UBR is a streamlined, adjustable butt stock for any AR-15 weapon system. Its modular design offers the stability of a fixed stock with consistent cheek weld in any position, and stock deployment is quickly executed with gross-motor movement. Multiple positions for length-of-pull adjustment and an innovative preset lock system allow for individual customization while retaining on-target speed. The robust lock mechanism and receiver extension increase stock strength and durability under extreme conditions. It also comes with a rubber butt pad.
Get a Grip
I have long felt that the standard AR-15 grip was woefully inadequate. The grip circumference is quite small, allowing the trigger finger to improperly engage the trigger on all but the smallest hands. Proper trigger control is a direct result of proper finger placement, normally on the first pad, which is difficult to do with a standard AR grip. Magpul has solved this problem with its Mission Adaptable Grip (MIAD), a drop-in replacement for the standard pistol grip. It features removable and replaceable front and rear panels for a custom fit over multiple hand sizes. The MIAD features improved ergonomics and positive anti-slip texture on both sides and the rear back-strap. It also features a removable inner core that allows for storage of batteries or a bolt/firing pin. The full MIAD kit includes small, medium and large back-straps; four front-straps, including an integrated enhanced trigger guard; three, round core plugs; and installation hardware. The MIAD grip easily fits in your hand. For those who are budget-minded and have an average- to small-size hand, go with the MOE. The MOE looks like the MIAD grip but doesn t include the interchangeable components. If the MOE fits well, then it would be a waste to spend the additional funds on the MIAD system.
Hang It Up
Slings are like holsters in that it s hard to get one that does everything. I like the idea of the single-point sling, but the two-point version allows for additional usage. The optimal sling could be used as a one- or two-point sling. Magpul did just that with its new MS2 Multi-Mission Sling System. A result of the operational experience of Magpul Dynamics instructors, the MS2 was designed to give a versatile weapon-retention solution for a variety of tactical situations. As a stand-alone product, the rapidly convertible MS2 allows a shooter to leverage the maneuverability of a single-point sling for direct-action or a two-point carry strap for stability. Single-hand adjustments, a quick-detach lanyard and positive-locking metal hardware provide flexibility and durability in a truly adaptable sling system. Used in conjunction with the Magpul ASAP plate, which is sold separately, the MS2 enables quick transitions into an array of shooting positions without getting twisted in the sling. The MS2 concept allows switching from weapon shoulder to reaction shoulder for shooting around corners and under vehicles or to minimize exposure.
The only problem with Magpul products is they re in such high demand you often have to wait for your products. The people at Magpul have assured me they re working on this.
For more information about Magpul Industries, call 877/4magpul or visit www.magpul.com
Inset: The Art of the Tactical Carbine, Volume II
The original version of Magpul’s The Art of the Tactical Carbine was a huge success—so much so that trainers at Magpul Dynamics decided to produce a second version showing its advanced carbine course as well as advanced shooting drills. Like the first video, Volume II is fast-paced with special emphasis on giving the viewer the feel that they’re in the course. Instructors Travis Haley and Chris Costa can really run an AR-15, and the tactics/techniques they teach and demonstrate make good, solid sense. The four-DVD set includes the two-day advanced training course, a set of training drills and a section on how to reasonably equip and care for your AR-15. No, it’s not a replacement for a hands-on training course, but it’s an excellent supplement if you already have solid fundamentals.