New Magpul AR-15?

Magpul sign at SHOT

Magpul sign at SHOT

While perusing the “New Products” section at the SHOT Show looking for ideas, I happened across a complete AR-15 with the all new Magpul gray furniture (hand guard, grip, stock).  Gray seemed to be a new move this year, as 5.11 had a full line of “tactical gray”.  However, as I looked closer I saw something I did not expect to see.  On the side of the magazine well I observed the famous Magpul name engraved in the metal receiver.  The other side was not observable in the case.  Could this be?  Could Magpul be making their own brand of AR-15’s?

Could this be the new Magpul AR-15?

Could this be the new Magpul AR-15?

The recent changes in Colorado led Magpul to make a stand for their industry and move their headquarters from Colorado to Texas, and their manufacturing center to Wyoming.  I won’t go into the politics, but hooray for Magpul standing firm behind their word and law-abiding gun owners.  Magpul has become synonymous with polymer AR-15 magazines with their famous Pmags, having established what many consider to be the industry standard for polymer magazines.

So, was Magpul making an even bigger plunge into the black rifle arena?  Perhaps Magpul decided to go “all in” to make a bold statement about the right to manufacturer products to lawful citizens.  To say I was intrigued was an understatement.

The Magpul MBUS rear sight, and STR carbine storage stock also in Magpul gray.

The Magpul MBUS rear sight, and STR carbine storage stock also in Magpul gray.

I headed off the the Magpul booth on the SHOT Show floor and was met with the standard large crowd gathered to ogle the rifles with Magpul furniture, and the new accessory releases.  I, however, quietly began searching the rifles that were displayed hoping to find the hidden gem that had wet my appetite in the “New Products” section.

There were plenty of rifles from a variety of the top AR-15 manufacturers, but each of those rifles were simply a rifle with Magpul enhancements.  Where was the new Magpul AR-15?  It took me several minutes of maneuvering through the crowd, but finally a familiar sight caught my attention.

The Magpul Gray furniture that I had seen in the "New Products" section.  A softer "black" gun approach I suppose.

The Magpul Gray furniture that I had seen in the “New Products” section. A softer “black” gun approach I suppose.

There was the gray Magpul furniture I had seen on the “New Products” rifle.  As I got closer my anticipation was rewarded with the vision I had hoped to see.  There it was.  On the side of the lower receiver magazine well was the engraved Magpul name in their recognized font style.  I even ran my fingers across the word to make sure it wasn’t some kind of illusion.

There it was again, the Magpul insignia engraved into the lower receiver!  I wasn't delirious after all.

There it was again, the Magpul insignia engraved into the lower receiver! I wasn’t delirious after all.

I turned the AR-15 around and observed the familiar Smith & Wesson logo.  Oh, so maybe this is a joint venture.  That made sense, considering S&W already offered several of their rifles with Magpul furniture.  I looked at the serial number, SP00011, and was even more convinced of my conclusion.  Look at that low serial number!  I wonder if the “SP” stands for “Special”, or “Secret Product”?  And only number 11.  I might be holding a collector’s item.

So, S&W was in on a joint venture with Magpul!  Note the Magpul Pmag, MOE Grip in gray, and the ASAP sling attachment.

So, S&W was in on a joint venture with Magpul! Note the Magpul Pmag, MOE Grip in gray, and the ASAP sling attachment.

After taking a bunch of photographs I regretfully put the rifle back on the display and hunted down a Magpul representative.  I began firing away with a multitude of questions.  When did this happen?  Was this a statement?  When will the rifle be available?  What is the MSRP, and so on.

The representative took my questions professionally, but only returned a puzzled look on his face.  He said something incomprehensible like “what are you talking about”.  Surely my excited questions had not been that garbled to be unintelligible.  Alright, I’ll humor you, so I pointed to the rifle on the display and asked about the Magpul engraving on the mag well.  The representative looked at the display and said something ridiculous like, “we don’t make rifles”.

We don't make rifles, indeed!  The Magpul AR-15 ready for business.

We don’t make rifles, indeed! The Magpul AR-15 ready for business.

Ah, yes, the old wink-wink, nudge-nudge game, I get it.  So this was a top secret surprise announcement that was “unofficial” for now.  Maybe Magpul wanted to see if people even saw the rifle, and if it garnered positive response, before they added hundreds of thousands of dollars of CNC machines to make rifle parts.  That made sense, especially with the big moves they were already in the process of completing.

The Magpul AR-15 with Magpul gray MOE hand guard.  Note the new MOE hand guard sling attachment mount.  A QD version was also announced this year.

The Magpul AR-15 with Magpul gray MOE hand guard. Note the new MOE hand guard sling attachment mount. A QD version was also announced this year.

However, I couldn’t leave without a definitive answer so I drug the young representative over to the display, grabbed the “top secret” rifle, and proudly displayed my find – trying to be as nonchalant as possible so as not to attract other pesky media types.  The representative looked at the rifle like I was trying to show him the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  What the heck is this guy’s problem?

Finally, the representative said something totally unbelievable like “no, we don’t make any firearms”, and then tried a very weak cover up story by saying, “it must have been done for some kind of demo or something”.  I see.  Taking the ignorant new guy approach.  “Demo” you say.  Right, right, I understand.

Look at the engravings man!  This is "Magpul"!

Look at the engravings man! This is “Magpul”!

"Demo", right?  What kind of "demo" has a super secret low serial number like this?  Hmmm?  I think not!

“Demo”, right? What kind of “demo” has a super secret low serial number like this? Hmmm? I think not!

With that the representative walked off with a slightly irritated demeanor like I was asking for his sister’s phone number.  Whatever!  Or maybe he was a well trained floor operative, ordered into secrecy.  Time will tell, yes, time will tell.

So, there you have it.  While the “official” statement says Magpul is NOT making a rifle, the physical evidence leaves much room for debate, hoping, and perhaps groveling if needs be.  If Magpul did venture into the AR-15 rifle business I’m confident the quality and features would match their reputation for excellence.  The rifle would no doubt be outfitted with popular and new Magpul furniture, with a much cheaper price than even the other manufacturers who offer a “Magpul” version.

***NOTE*** This is the author’s pathetic attempt at humor after an exhausting week of working the SHOT Show floor only to return home to jump right back into his normal 12-hour shifts.  The rifles are real, and the “Magpul” engravings were real, but comedy aside, the representative professionally and adamantly stated that Magpul is not in the business of making rifles.  Too bad …





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  • Vaquero357x2

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but the tan version has been on S&W’s website for the better part of a year. I’ve got two of these in my store right now.

    http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product4_750001_750051_802555_-1_787653_757785_757784_ProductDisplayErrorView_Y

    The new grey is neat though.

  • Andrew

    It’s a Smith & Wesson “Magpul Spec Series” rifle…and it’s been out for TWO YEARS:

    http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product4_750001_750051_802553_-1_757784_757784_757784_ProductDisplayErrorView_Y

  • ColaBox

    Hey folks, I was looking to get the MBUS’s (< ?) for my rifle rebuild, but iv seen mixed reviews. Opinions?

    • nester7929

      I have a flip up front to co-witness with my EO Tech, and I think they work fine. They’re plastic, but they cost a whole lot less than Troy or some of the other offerings. If you can live with plastic, I recommend them.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      Are the steel anodized BUIS better? Sure they are but at twice the price. There’s nothing wrong with the Magpuls as long as you don’t tromp through the deep woods where you snag everything on your rifle.

    • ColaBox

      Thanks for the bit feed back both of ya.

  • Tyler

    Magpul military industries does the R&D stuff like the masada, massoud. Etc. they did some of these reseivers awhile ago, however there is no possible way they would make an AR-15. It would instantly deminsh half of their OEM deals as a competitive measure…

  • GUNxSPECTRE

    I gotta be honest, but I was expecting more “oomph” from the receivers. Maybe looking more like Mega Arm’s receivers.

    Also ambi-bolt release would’ve been cool.

  • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

    This was a pure comedy piece so don’t call Magpul_–LOL

    • therapist

      Now That’s What I Call Backpedaling: The Firearm Blog Edition.

      • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

        Nobody is backpedaling. I knew when I read it this was nothing but humor. I did very very little editing.

    • RickH

      Ohhhh, this was supposed to be “funny”, like the “funny” “Ultimate Survival Shotgun” from last month. Maybe it’s time to cut out the “funny” articles.

      • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

        It helps if you don’t take it seriously. It certainly wasn’t intended to be serious in any way whatsoever.

        Of course you have to have a sense of humor first:-)

        • RickH

          Then why take this site seriously? Other than the disclaimer at the end, I had no sense that this was intended to be “pure comedy”. Articles like this are a waste of space. I like to come here for the factual articles. I have a great sense of humor, if I need a laugh I’ll read The Onion.

        • Andrew

          Swing and a miss.

  • J-

    I said it before and I’ll say it again. Magpul makes the best polymer products for AR15s out there, and at very reasonable prices. Their MBUS is better than any aluminum BUIS I have ever used and at 1/4 the price of a Troy or ARMS sight. I would love to see Magpul make some polymer lower receivers for AR15s. A few companies have, but I think Magpul could do it better. If they could bring out a complete polymer lower in the ~$200 price point, they would have a real winner. Maybe a 1911 or Glock compatible pistol lower too.

  • Steve

    OMG a lower that has carved in it magpul. Meh

    Id rather they just make the stealth gray furniture available to us

  • gggplaya

    Actually magpul did make small runs of an ar15 lower reciever a few years ago. The design was ambidextrous with a flared mag well and ar15.com bought the rights to the reciever design.

    http://www.guns.com/2011/04/22/ar15com-resurrects-magpuls-billet-ar-lower-receiver/

    Not a bad price for $225 which comes with the ambi bolt release.

    https://store.ar15.com/product.html?cat=39&pr=321

  • danny boy

    Getting sick of the magpul worship. All the magpul stuff I’ve had I have gotten rid of. Asap plate is a stupid noise maker. Moe grip feels so cheap.Poly trigger guard held in w/ Allen screw. Better mags /grips/stocks are available. Now magpul is polluting the kalashnikov scene with their derpy grip and all poly magazine. When is the gen 4 play coming out?

  • JT

    why no “humor” tag? Anyway, it doesn’t matter. For all anyone knows some of these reps could have been selling Chevrolets last week. Most salespeople are like this.

  • Aaron E

    Thanks for all the responses, and the links! I knew that Magpul had produced a very limited amount of lower receivers in the past, but the “New Products” section was very unclear about what part of the rifle on display was “new”.

    My interest to see if this was a full AR-15 by Magpul was legitimate. I have an M&P15 that came with Magpul furniture – but not the Magpul imprint on the receiver, so I was unaware of the version listed in the links – sorry.

    Running 18+ hour days during SHOT is taxing to say the least. The absolutely confused look from the rep, and learning this was not a stand alone Magpul rifle, made me think the humor of the situation would add light to the realities of the chaotic SHOT Show floor. It was meant as entertainment, while actually showing off some new Magpul stuff.