BREAKING: Magpul Lays Off 85 Workers in Wyoming

The Associated Press and KGWB in Cheyenne, Wyoming are reporting that Magpul Industries’ staffing agency, ResourceMFG, informed workers of the separation of 85 employees from its manufacturing and distribution facility on Thursday, April 6, 2017.

Magpul Industries moved its manufacturing operations to Wyoming from Erie, Colorado, and it’s headquarters to Austin, Texas after the Colorado Legislature and Governor passed three gun-control legislation bills in March 2013, even after Magpul promised to move out if those bills were made law.

Reports claim that after the layoffs Magpul Industries will still have a 163-strong workforce at the Cheyenne manufacturing facility. Magpul had expanded the workforce in the Wyoming facility from the initial 95 people to almost 250 employees for the formerly massive market demand for all firearms products, that has of course since waned following the 2016 Presidential Election. Magpul’s representative Jon Anderson says that current demand for Magpul products are in line with projections based on what the company experienced in 2015 and the increased 2016 demand was an outlier

Magpul is promising employees affected by the layoffs will receive two months wages and benefits and that Magpul’s staffing agency is working to place the now-unemployed in new positions. Employees that are being let go will be eligible for rehire if Magpul is able to expand the workforce in the near future.



Scott is a firearms enthusiast and gun hobbyist whose primary interest is the practical application of gun ownership. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he hosts and blogs for The Firearms Podcast, a podcast and blog about gun stuff by gun people. Scott is a 20-year veteran of the USAF and been a member of his base, state and the All Guard marksmanship teams. He can be reached via email at scott@thefirearmspodcast.com


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  • Rimfire

    I know that it’s no fun being “downsized” as one who experienced this several times in my career. Yet it has become a staple of business everywhere. I am sorry to those who lost employment, and I trust that Magpul made this decision after exploring all other options. Magpul will be fine in the long run, and many of those affected will too.

  • Patriot Gunner

    I’m surprised they even had nearly 250 employees at one time given how democratized automation has been in the polymer injection molding arena (and in manufacturing in general). Many years ago I toured an HP manufacturing plant here in the USA and the entire manufacturing process was automated. From injection molding the parts of a printer, the printed circuit board, assembly and pallettizing. There were a couple of guys behind computers, but the manufacturing floor was 500K+ square feet. It was quite impressive to say the least.

    • derpmaster

      I’ve been in a million US manufacturing plants and anything with 50+ employees is a major operation. 250 for a plastics shop is ludicrously huge. I’d bet this was the 2nd or 3rd shift getting the axe due to low demand.

      It sucks to see people lose their jobs but the US gun industry is incredibly overweight right now. Expect more of this to come.

      • Patriot Gunner

        Exactly. Your probably right, it’s most likely one of the shifts that got the axe. I always thought their product portfolio was way overweight with AR components/accessories and that’s the market segment that has seen the largest decline. In recent years they did try to diversify with glock and AK mags and 10/22 accessories, but it would appear that it is too little too late in avoiding layoffs. Given the relative ease of polymer injection molding they should have a wider breadth of products like an FAL mag or a 1911/2011 mag. But what the hell do I know.

        • koolhed

          Yep. The UBR 2.0 is STILL not out and they surely know that Mini-14 owners would keep them humming with a P-Mag for Ruger’s little rifle.

      • To be fair they are much more than an injection molding shop. Nearly every product they make requires some assembly.

        • Patriot Gunner

          True, but that assembly is very rudimentary, all of which can be done by off the shelf automation solutions (robots, machines, etc.) for remarkably low costs. Which is why I’m surprised that their workforce ballooned to nearly 250.

          • Maybe for magazines. But when it comes to other items like stocks there are probably a couple of dozen variations. And then you get sights, slings, et al.

          • Patriot Gunner

            All of which can still be automated, but I get your point. If I were a wagering man I would say that the majority of their business is magazines, and since magazines have basically 4 components, that would be very easy and cheap to automate. Remainder of their product line could be automated at a later date, but by automating their biggest selling item that frees up a lot of manpower. I know I’m beating a dead horse here, but I guess unless you’re in the business of manufacturing you can’t really fathom the fact that they had almost 250 employees. There is a US based polymer injection mold company with 25 employees and they have a 15 million+ parts per month capacity. 24/7 365 lights out production does wonders for your bottom line. They would definitely have a lower head count if they automated their production, but the jobs they had would be more secure.

          • Oh I understand, I also understand that it often takes a down market for a company was founded in a hot market to see the benefits of automation.

            Besides for all we know magazine assembly might be largely automated. And those 85 employees were simply to add crunch capacity across other product lines, or doing things like shipping management.

          • Patriot Gunner

            “Oh I understand, I also understand that it often takes a down market for a company was founded in a hot market to see the benefits of automation.” You nailed it. When times are good companies are least motivated to invest for their future.

          • neckbone

            Low skill workers through a temp agency. Cheaper to ramp up production and cut it off quickly, than buying expensive machinery that you can’t get rid of when demand fluctuates. Every election season we will see this craziness now.

      • iksnilol

        Yup, bubble has to burst.

        • Patriot Gunner

          The gun industry is one of the last remnants of the free market enterprise system in the US. Given the speed of the consolidation, I’d say give it several months and we’ll be making record highs again (God willing).

          • neckbone

            Ha free market

          • Patriot Gunner

            Remnants…Remnants 🙂

    • glenn cheney

      Operating leverage, the most efficient way to a bottom line.

      • Patriot Gunner

        Operating leverage is like saying you can control chaos. Leverage is a very sharp double edged sword and given a long enough timeline it will always cut you to pieces.

        • glenn cheney

          How so? Please explain.

          • Patriot Gunner

            Well take for example trading futures (stocks, bonds, pick your instrument), where easy access to leverage is readily available. Even today, many proprietary trading shops will offer 250 to 1 leverage so for every $1 you put in, they will put in an additional $250. In this example lets say you put in $1,000 and now you have $250,000 in buying power. You enter your position long and now all it takes is .4% move against you to wipe you out. The greatest traders in the world all experience draw downs and adverse excursions in their trades. And I haven’t even mentioned black swan events. If you are highly levered, given enough time you will experience a drawdown which will obliterate you. This example I gave you is just a microcosm, you can extrapolate this to different ends, such as corporations addicted to cheap credit in a ZIRP (Zero Interest Rate Policy) environment. Once rates go up, the ability to refinance and service the debt becomes increasingly difficult ultimately leading to bankruptcy. Look at what is happening in the commercial property market, specifically retail shopping centers or strip malls. All of those were bought with cheap money, and investors are highly levered and the cracks are starting to show as more consumers move away from brick and mortar retail and are buying online. And many consumers now are just under so much debt they can’t borrow another dime to buy more crap. This leads to higher vacancy rates and those property owners that are over leveraged will not be able to weather the storm. Its hard to explain all of the intricacies in a comment, but I hope you get the general idea.

          • glenn cheney

            You have the basics of financial leverage down pretty good. But are trying to do the equivalent of chambering a 300 BLK into that 5.56.
            Go back and Google operating leverage. You have missed the whole discussion.
            Hint, a cnc machine is a component of operating leverage. Example: A block mfg. Co had integrated mechanical handling of concrete block in the production process. Their breakage rate was 5 per cent or better at inv. when moved from wip.
            This translated to industry price point edge which with pricing administration assistance, migrated to the bottom line.
            There are two different leverages, you can not confuse the two if you are familiar with the concepts.
            Financial leverage will, as you say, work against you in downturns.
            Many contractors learned this the hard way, buying heavy equipment to work a bigger job they could get or bid for, but when the music stops, the job draws are spent, the equipment idle and Westinghouse or GE Finance is looking for that 5 or 10 grand monthly, it gets dicey. Too much dicey gets spicy and that guy ends up back where he started, or, working for someone else.
            Operating leverage gets complicated when you begin to spread Capex out over asset lifetime, cost of capital is a component, that will flex depending upon write off tax considerations, but that is another calculation altogether.
            I’ve posted here, references to a saturated firearm industry component situation, and barrels for instance, are at bear breakeven price points due to labor requirements being eliminated and replaced by computerized machinery, such as those cnc machines.

          • Patriot Gunner

            Yeah I agree with your assessment. When you said operating leverage I immediately thought of financial leverage because that is the background I came from. I think we are both ultimately arriving at the same point, how a company is managed is of utmost importance. These conversations go great with microbrews at a gastro pub.

    • Ebby123

      A lot of that depends on the volumes involved.

      Large volumes of a limited number of products can be highly automated.

      Smaller volumes of a wider variety of products isn’t nearly as cost-effective to automate.

      • Patriot Gunner

        Actually building a modular automation solution to deal with lower quantity variable parts can be very cost effective, especially when amortized over years. The costs of robotics is plummeting while their capabilities are ever increasing. 10 years ago a 6 axis robot arm with a vision system that was programmed cost about 160-200K, now one can be had for as little as 15-30K. Its always that initial capital expenditure that scares most companies, compared to hiring someone and giving that person 2-3 weeks training, robotics (and other automation solutions) can seem expensive.

  • Surfgun

    Where are the backpacker stocks?

    • Duane Liptak

      Backpacker Shipping this month. UBR GEN 2 should also be late this month or very early next. We are finally completely happy with it.

      • Daniel

        How about a Zhukov style stock for ARs? Non folder.

        • ostiariusalpha

          That’s basically what the UBR Gen 2 is. Do you just want one that looks more like the Zhukov?

          • Daniel

            Pretty much. I have a couple ubr’s. I like them. I like the aesthetics of the Zhukov though. I’d like something like that on an sbr.

      • koolhed

        “UBR GEN 2 should also be late this month or very early next.”

        If I had a dollar for ever time I heard that…

  • Audie Bakerson

    Repeal NFA. New demand for PMAGs and the D60 (not to mention nicer handguards and grips). There. I solved your problem.

    Cheney! Barrasso! Enzi! Get on it!

    • Wow!

      All it would do is start another bubble. Rise and fall of demand is natural in any free market. The best way for people to stop the NFA is to stop complying with it’s illegal regulation.

      • Audie Bakerson

        What will people do with their old semi-only guns?

        They’ll either convert them (money for the gunsmith who is most likely self employed or part of a small business), give them to a new shooter (who if gotten into the hobby will then buy ammo, mags, and all manner of accesories, not to mention more guns possibly repeating the cycle) sell them (should be sold at a discount, making them attractive to new shooters which goes back to 2) with a only a limited number keeping them as safe queens.

        • Wow!

          Selling existing guns would stagnate demand, as people who would buy current production would settle for surplus. The current drop in demand is also due to all the new shooters already getting what they want but not being interested enough to continually invest more money in the hobby. Nightstand gun owners essentially. This is also related to a big reason why it is important that DOD destroys old or overrun stocks rather than selling it all, because if they did, they would easily out-compete private markets and it would actually hurt us in the long run.

          As far as NFA, the purpose of 2A is an absolute check that the citizens can use against an out of control government. It is a self sufficiency measure, not a government mediated one. Which is why when the government gets out of control with gun laws our steps then should not be to only engage in politics (we should be doing that ever since the first gun law passed) but to also actively violate an illegal law which infringes on our right and a key check that maintains the citizen’s freedoms and defense. Without this personal risk, the self mediated check that is the 2A truly does not exist.

          • Audie Bakerson

            How many people own just own one gun, one considered obsolete at that?

          • jcitizen

            I agree, but it should be a peaceful protest action that may require jail time, but would stress the system to force change. ( I pray)

  • don gant

    Really thought gov and le contracts would keep them plenty busy. Also, drop msrp of D60

    • Anonymoose

      They could make a lot of money if the military started using FDE CTRs and MOE grips on their M4s instead of the crappy wafflestocks and A2 grip, and buying Gen3 Pmags in addition the usual generic aluminum mags (the Pmags may be “tougher” but the lips can deform if left loaded for a really long time without the “dust cover” on and they’re about an ounce and a half heavier than GI 30-rounders).

  • McThag

    They stopped making foliage green and sand. Why would anyone want anything they still make?

    😉

  • RicoSuave

    They ought to expand into making coffee mugs and iphone accessories… what the non-gunner types all need.

    • Brian Hert

      They do actually make some phone cases and such.

      • Hem90

        Currently have a magpul wallet and phone case because they’re thin and cheap and always happen to be from the same place I order stuff so I bundle it anyway.

        • Ebby123

          What do you think of that wallet? I was considering buying one.

          • Hem90

            If you don’t carry much it’s great. I hate bifolds/trifolds and it’s pretty cheap so you might as well try it out.

    • Ebby123

      They’d be competing with China (more than they already are), but I would LOVE a magpul coffee mug!

      • RicoSuave

        A mug with an M-LOK relief pattern and handle with the hand stop at the top
        should keep the tacticool types happy.

  • Juggernaut

    The demand for hi-cap mags must have dropped precipitously last Nov.

  • Warren Ellis

    You know what I wonder, could those workers, or maybe everyone in the company, just take pay cuts and still keep on working?

    Because I notice lots of companies like to lay off workers while giving their CEOs or whoever big raises.

    • KestrelBike

      I gotta imagine that given it’s WY, there pay wasn’t that spectacular to begin with (low cost of living comes with low wages). Perhaps the margin between what they earn and what they need to get by is not that large.

    • Raoul O’Shaugnessy

      Even if there were pay cuts, how does that create a need for the employees? You’d still have more people than you have a need for, all youre doing is paying them to stand around since there isn’t enough work.

    • Hem90

      You’re thinking Companies who get money from subsidies and such, Not companies being badgered by the government as is. =p

    • neckbone

      They were temp workers in unskilled positions. They can’t cut their pay below minimum wage. Trump won, sales plummeted.

    • Ebby123

      Usually that creates a very disgruntled workforce. That’s also why demotions are going out of style – it causes less damage to the company to replace someone than it does to demote them and have them poison the company’s morale for the remainder of their career.

  • Wetcoaster

    That’s actually an impressively generous separation package considering most places that use staffing agencies pay next to or actually nothing depending on the local employment legislation. In some places, agency workers are considered temp and not subject to severance pay requirements.

    • KestrelBike

      I wonder how much of it is them not wanting to piss off WY who cut them an incredible tax-break deal to move there in the first place.

  • Ryfyle

    The ultimate price for overpriced plastic.

    • Stuki Moi

      Overpriced? How do you even go about determining that?

      The overwhelmingly most important feature of a magazine, or virtually any gun accessory/part, is reliability. Magpul has a good record there.

      In addition, simply having a major operation in Cheyenne, is an indirect bonus as far as reliability and function goes. Plenty of space for rifle shooting, a gun culture and low enough living costs that employees, and friends of employees, and friends of those, “all” shoot rifles. Meaning, lots of people in direct contact with the company, eating Magpul’s dogfood. So the feedback loop is short, if there are problems.

      Which is much more reassuring than “a magazine with the same brand as mine stamped on it, once survived a tough test in a lab in Virginia.” Not that the latter is unnecessary nor worthless. But if you can have it, you want both.

      In addition, throw in a climate that is second only to Tora Bora as far as all manners of harsh environments, from dry dust to biting snow, is concerned. Now just imagine the prices they would have to charge to make ends meet, if they did operate out of some cave in Tora Bora? 🙂

      • Anomanom

        Well, it’s not Tora Bora, but i hear those folks in Khyber have a brisk manufacturing business.

      • Ryfyle

        Just made something that matched their pistol grips with loctite.

      • neckbone

        I thought they went to Wyoming because of the huge tax breaks the state gave them?

  • valorius

    I reckon trump winning really slowed down the demand for high cap mags.

  • Jim_Macklin

    It is a fact of life, nothing lasts forever, except a government entitlement program Here in Kansas, the former Air Capitol of the World, Beech, Cessna, Learjet and even Boeing employee parking lots are now acres of asphalt and concrete. Thousands of people who used to live around Wichita, Kansas no longer build airplanes. Worse, these people who used to earn $20-$50 an hour don’t pay taxes, buy pickup trucks or even shoes for their kids.
    Now there are only a few dozen cars in the parking lots. That is because the Congress tax policies made buying an airplane a luxury that couldn’t be deducted as a business expense. The Congress told the car companies they had to sell their airplanes, ground the flight department and 50,000 people lost their jobs.

    • Ebby123

      Another government success story.

      • gibonez

        It was a smart move why should our tax dollars subsidize corporate luxuries like buying jets. If a company requires private jets then it can fork it out of pocket.

        • Ebby123

          Taxation is theft.
          More taxation helps exactly no one.

    • jcitizen

      I’ve been in that market, and the unions are partially to blame too. If you want to see a success story in Kansas look at Garden City for an example. The economy is exploding there!

  • Scott Snoopy

    What is being overlooked is Magpul is not the only game in polymer AR mags; Hexmag, Lancer, Mako, CAA, ETS all make quality mags as well as other parts. Competition Is just as much a part of this as is reduced demand.

    • Ebby123

      Mags yes, but of the above only Mako group is as diverse a product lineup as Magpul, and I doubt they move the volumes that Magpul does.

      • koolhed

        Everyone I know has switched to Lancer mags. That has to make a dent in Magpul’s bottom line.

        • Ebby123

          Perhaps, but they’re pretty diversified nowadays.

        • throwedoff

          Everyone, but the Marine Corp!

  • Duane Liptak

    Surge capacity that we rapidly expanded with to meet last year’s hyperactivity. The number of remaining employees cited here is well under the staff that actually remains, in just this one facility. Would have been nice to keep everyone in this area–awesome crew by all standards–but demand is more normal to healthy growth over 2015 than the insanity of 2016. We are still well over our target employment numbers by more than 50% that WY expected, and I can guarantee that we are more than fine. Businesses that aren’t in good shape don’t provide two month severance for employees provided by a staffing agency. But, we take care of our people as best we can, and as the product line and sales continue to grow, so will our staff again (hopefully bringing some of the same folks back), but 2016 numbers just weren’t sustainable. We didn’t, however want to leave last year’s demand unmet, and we put together a great surge team to make that happen.

    • neckbone

      If Clinton won would this still happen?

      • hikerguy

        No. she would have put huge taxes and other crazy stuff to run all gun and related things out of business before now. At least she wasn’t elected.

        • neckbone

          Not sure she could with republican congress though. Trump can’t pass anything and he’s got both houses on his team.

          • Wow!

            They are a republican congress, but not a conservative one. Knowing them, they would bow quickly under peer pressure and probably either pass some of her bills or let her do EO unchallenged like they did with Obama. They wanted their puppet Bush in the white house, and are pissed that Trump stole the show. They have no plans or ideas, but they don’t want Trump to get the glory even if the rest of the country ends up suffering. The amazing thing though is that despite their resistance, Trump has actually gotten quite a bit of what he wanted done so far while the media was distracted with “russian hacking”.

    • Ben Pottinger

      I was about to point out the 2 month severance thing. Thats pretty amazing. Even in a “white collar” field like IT it’s rare to see that kind of severance, especially as a contractor. Good for you guys. It’s always annoyed me how many companies expect you to provide extensive notice when you quit yet have no issues whatsoever with laying you off with a few days notice. Nice to see a good employer in action.

    • Art out West

      I appreciate you guys doing what you can for the downsized employees. That shows a lot of class. Providing severance for temporary, or short-term employees is really going above and beyond.
      I like my Pmags. I guess I should go buy some more. I bought quite a few in 2016, but wouldn’t mind having a some more. Maybe I should try the ones you make for Glocks.

  • Geoff Timm

    I want a 32 round magazine for my SWaMPy 9c! I want a 32 round magazine for my SW9VE it will fit the current SD9 VE as well! Geoff Who bought some magazines before the election. And a twenty round Magpul since.

    • Ebby123

      Geoff needs to buy some new pistols if he want’s those capacities. 🙂

  • Harry’s Holsters

    I wonder how much they are involved in manufacturing their new clothing line. This part of their business might actually grow. It’d also be interesting to see if the shotgun, bolt gun and rimfire line of magpul stocks expand with buyers less concerned with ARs and AKs right now.

  • Bill

    Be Careful What You Wish For and Unintended Consequences: the election of a gun-neutral President, plus an industry that’s been driven by panic and nonsense since the AWB.

    • Anomanom

      The Obama-based panic buy market in preparation for vaporware bans has pretty much collapsed. The Trump-based panic buying is just not rich enough (yet?) to compensate for the falloff.

  • Cal S.

    Darn it, I really wanted a job with them!

  • Lowe0

    I wish they could capitalize on the growth in pistol caliber carbines. I bought a Vector recently, and really wanted to get US made mags… was very disappointed that people have had issues with Pmags in Vectors. With Kriss’ existing relationship with Magpul, you’d think Pmags would be the standard factory magazines.

    My point is, it’d be great to see them supplant Glock as the standard in Glock-compatible PCCs.

    • Ebby123

      I wish they would too, though I do know that for pistols designed around steel mags, it is very difficult to make durable polymer mags due to the wall thickness.

      Glock uses steel with a polymer overmold, so that was probably a lot easier for Magpul to design around.

  • Andrew

    I guess they should rebrand as a lifestyle company and start featuring attractive women with tattoos wearing Magpul yoga pants.

    • LGonDISQUS

      10/10 would operate with.

    • Art out West

      Attractive women with tattoos???
      That is a profound contradiction.
      Attractive women do not have tattoos. Tattoos deface and destroy beauty.

    • Wow!

      Tattoos are a permanent sign of temporary immaturity.

  • John

    They could concentrate on working with Harley Davidson and start building more motorcycles with Magwell parts.

    Or maybe Jeep.

  • Ed Ward

    The irony of BHO’s legacy as being the single greatest advertiser for firearms sales of the 21st Century resulting in record breaking growth and sales is simply incredible…Remains my only fond memory of what was the greatest threat from within that our Great Country has witnessed yet, again ironically, since the Civil War…God Bless America.

  • Vet for Trump

    But, but, didn’t MagPul just get a massive Government contract to supply the Marines with magazines?

  • Robert Bonaiuto

    Magpul remains a great company. Companies have to downsize to stay competitive, it’s the nature of business. But they give employees two months severance and benefits which most companies don’t do. And they stuck it up Colorado ass. Gotta love em. Plus, of course their mags are far and above anything else on the market for the price!

    • koolhed

      Nope. Lancer topped them. Same price, better features.

  • alex archuleta

    Still waiting for M14 mags Magpul! BOOM I just solved your lay off issue!

    • Ebby123

      Sadly, its only you and the 75 other m14 owners who would actually buy them in that niche, and once you’ve bought enough for your gun, you probably won’t be buying more.

      Its tough to justify ~$25,000 in tooling and about $30,000 in R&D costs for niche products like that – as much as we ALL would love to see them on the market.

  • Mark Lee

    I’m curious how much – if any – the recent discovery of illicitly-imported knock-off products from China has contributed to these layoffs.

  • sawta

    It sucks that those people lost their jobs. Good on Magpul for at least giving them a few months pay to help them get by. I seriously hope the people that were let go have been looking for work since the election was decided.

    If you’re a skilled laborer, there will always be work out there for you, and there is always firearms related work out there to be done. Demand might be “low” right now, compared to what it was expected, but it certainly doesn’t mean there isn’t demand, and it doesn’t mean there aren’t niche markets to be filled.

  • Jones2112

    They were hired when the boom was going on so they knew their jobs were only temporary unless hitlary was elected. Magpul still did them right by giving 2 months worth of pay and benefits and will hire them back if/when manufacturing picks-up again. Yeah it sucks but its not like its some sort of surprise for them…

  • carlcasino

    Being downsized sucks. I worked in the offshore oil industry and went thru 2 major layoffs and one 5;1 reverse stock split. Don’t worry too much about it, even if Trumps plan works the Islamic threat is real and coming to a neighborhood near you soon. I still believe in the Boy Scout Motto after 65 years from taking the Oath. “Be Prepared”

  • Len Jones

    Here is another thing obama ruined. He was the biggest reason for buying a gun and then ammo. Now that he’s gone stockpiling ammo is unnecessary.