From a financial point of view, Magpul has had an exceptional year. They got a $13 million dollar injection of cash from TCAP. Hardly a week goes by without a gun company announcing that they are introducing a new AR-15 model that comes from the factory with Magpul accessories. On the other hand, they launched no revolutionary new products and two key employees left the company.
Lets take a look at what new products Magpul introduced this year …
January ’11 – The SHOT Show announcement: iPhone case updated for iPhone 4.
February ’11 – MOE handguard now available in rifle length.
March ’11 – Shipping 5 and 10 round limiters. Introduced instead of the promised PMAG 5/10/15 round magazines.
March ’11 – Magpul MBUS 2. The biggest new product of the year. Slimmer profile than 1st generation.
May ’11 – Dummy 5.56mm rounds available in a new color.
May ’11 – MOE+ and MOE-K grips accounted. MOE+ is has rubber overmolding. MOE-K has a slimmer than normal profile.
August ’11 – MSA sling attachement for MOE handguards.
October ’11 – PMAG 30G for H&K G36 rifles. Magpul eyes the European market.
November ’11 – Magpul MOE Scout light mount for MOE handguard.
November ’11 – Magpul STR and ACS-L Stock.
While the new MBUS launch was high profile, backup sights being a very important rifle accessory, I believe the MOE+ grip represents the biggest new innovation at Magpul. They now have the ability to produce accessories with rubber overmolding and I expect to see a lot more accessories with rubber overmolding next year.
What Magpul did not introduce this year is probably more telling than what was introduced. The PMAG 40 was announced in the 2011 catalog but never produced. This product would have been incredibly popular. When I speculated that the product was dead, the Magpul CEO made it clear it was not and they would be introducing it in the future. I hope the PMAG40 does not become vaporware.
Also announced but not produced were the 5 round, 10 round and 15 round PMAGs. They did introduce 5 and 10 round limiters, but in some jurisdictions round limiters do not make a full-sized magazine legal for hunting. For a company that takes pride in the fact that they never disclose future products, not producing products that made it into the annual catalog is no small thing.
Surefire beat Magpul to the market wit their quad-stack 60 and 100 round AR-15 magazines. Earlier this week Magpul’s patent application for a Quad-stack magazine was approved by the USTPO. Magpul’s policy is that no employees are allowed to discuss the Quad-Stack magazine. I know this because I have asked a few of them for a comment.
At the beginning of the year Travis Haley, Magpul Dynamics CEO former-interim CEO of Magpul industries, left the company to form a consulting firm called Haley Strategic Partners. Last month Chris Costa, President of Magpul Dynamics, announced that he was leaving the company. It will be interesting to see how Magpul Dynamics fares without the brand-recognition that Haley and Costa had. In the blogosphere, a popular blogger usually takes his audience with him when he or she moves to another blog. I suspect the fans of Haley and Costa will follow them, regardless of the company they work for.
This year was certainly interesting, but were the new products announced exciting or lackluster? I was disappointed that there was not more innovation for their consumer customers. The new H&K G36 PMAG is not aimed at US consumers, but at military and LE users of the H&K G36.
What are my predictions for Magpul in 2012? I suspect the quad-magazine will be announced, as will the PMAG40. These products will be big sellers. If the PMAG60 or PMAG100 can be made to work with the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle, Magpul could make a lot of money by nabbing a contract with the USMC. As I said before, I predict a few more products which have rubber overmolding. 2012 is going to be an interesting year.
My way out there prediction is this: Magpul will introduce a 1911 accessory in 2012!
What do you predict Magpul will introduce in 2012? Sound off in the comments.