TWENTY TWO YEARS. 2019 marked Magpul’s 20th anniversary. Magpul is admired in the industry beyond its commitment to manufacturing excellence. With Magpul’s contribution in developments for the military and police markets, they are our valuable partner in the field of Weapon Systems & Optics, with a solution for every man or woman on the ground.
Magpul is known worldwide for a little calling card known as the Magpul PMAG. What is very interesting is that Magpul has quietly marched along with no attempt to make any one person or thing the face of Magpul. According to Magpul Executive Vice President Duane Liptak: “Magpul is not any one product or person. It’s an attitude toward solving problems.”
The history of Magpul: the founder of Magpul, Richard Fitzpatrick, served with the U.S. Marine Corps 3rd Recon Battalion. During his time there, he began to work on modifying what was originally a field-expedient method of retrieving rifle mags from their pouches. While it was common for soldiers to tape paracord to the bottom of their mags, he knew there had to be a better way. He began to tinker with ideas, but nothing seemed to really fit what he was looking for. This continued even after he left the Marine Corps. Then, in 1997, he came up with the idea of using a friction-style band secured around the magazine. He polished the design in the garage of his Colorado home and moved forward by patenting his idea. He then decided it was time to lay all his cards on the table. Fitzpatrick grabbed his savings and ordered a small injection mold with the intent of manufacturing the devices himself. With a sigh of relief, the mold worked perfectly. Then came the name – Magpul -short for “Magazine Pull.”
The company continued to grow, working out of his Colorado home until demand had forced the company to move into a dedicated facility. Since then, Magpul has grown into a company that manufactures a wide array of accessories, including magazines, stocks, sights, handguards, slings, mounts, cases, eyewear, belts and even clothing. Then there’s the Magpul Core training division, with its expert staff, and Magpul has even taken to the racing circuits, as it has sponsored vehicles ranging from a Unimog dubbed “Bam Bam” to a high-speed Baja 1000 trophy Jeep.
While the PMAG is a cornerstone of its offerings, Magpul is not defined by any one product. The company focuses on providing solutions that are intuitive and elegantly simple, easy for shooters to appreciate. Once the designs move to the prototype phase, they face exhaustive testing in what has been called Magpul’s “Willy Wonka” collection of testing apparatuses and range evolutions. Only after they survive this will they see the light of day and go on to consumers. From the very beginning of any project, Magpul uses a specific list of mission-driven requirements to steer everything from construction materials to manufacturing methods. The focus is producing a product in the most efficient fashion without sacrificing quality or performance. Magpul expresses the rest of this well: “By incorporating ergonomic considerations, a proper user interface, and subtle visual and tactile features, the product itself should actually instruct the user about its operation and function.
Magazines are the culprit in many rifle issues, and PMAGs solve that. The challenge was getting people to understand that. Drake Clark, Magpul’s senior director of sales and business development stated “The most obvious challenge was that previously produced polymer magazines from other manufacturers had not seen any legitimate success, and they weren’t taken seriously in the market. This was due to a number of factors, such as reliability, durability, availability and consistency in manufacture. At this point, the market had determined that aluminum USGI mags were ‘good enough’ as the standard. Convincing the masses that Magpul had built a better mousetrap was a challenge. Magpul’s internal test data proved that the PMAG was superior, and that eventually got the attention of military and law enforcement personnel. As they say, the rest is history. Nowadays, you’d be hard pressed to find a police agency that is not running PMAGs or other Magpul accessories.
American Made: Magpul accessories are 100-percent American made. This goes all the way down to the screws that hold things together. Mike Mayberry, vice president of product development about Magpul’s design identity stated: “We have always focused on delivering the right combination of performance, price and design appeal. The ideal balance of these elements is critical, and it’s not as easy to achieve as one might think. It’s not uncommon to look at a successful design and think ‘Well, yeah, of course it’s like that.’ It’s easy to say this when the solution is in front of you, but much more difficult to create when you are starting with nothing.”
(Original article written by Fred Maniston for Ballistic Magazine, read the full article: www.ballisticmag.com/magpul-firearms-world)