In this episode of The Mag Life Podcast, Daniel interviews the Executive Vice President of Magpul, Duane Liptak, a pioneer and powerful voice in the firearms community. Magpul is the industry standard among firearm accessories, namely due to their unrivaled quality in magazines, stocks, sights, and many other products.
Together, Daniel and Duane discuss Magpul’s latest product line ups for 2021 (MBUS 3 iron sights, PMAG 10/30 magazines, the FDC-9 and FDP-9 guns, and the new D-50 drum mags), the Magpul brand, and building a positive culture for future gun owners.
Host: Daniel Shaw
Guest: Duane Liptak
Introduction/Timeline: Eric Huh
03:40 MBUS 3 Back-Up Iron Sights
Daniel and Duane discuss the upcoming release of the MBUS 3 back up iron sights.
Daniel asks if there are any specific customer demands or issues with previous models that Magpul was directly addressing in their new MBUS 3 sights. Duane notes that while previous MBUS models were highly reliable and convenient, they left a larger footprint on the rail space in both width and height. This could be problematic for some shooters with certain kinds of optics and lights. An alternative was to go with the MBUS Pro sights, which are more expensive.
For the MBUS 3, Magpul sought to bring the best of both worlds from the MBUS and the MBUS Pro back up irons. The front sight no longer requires a tool to adjust elevation, the overall footprint is much smaller than before, and it contains a more accessible rear aperture selection.
07:40 Daniel explains his experience using the MBUS Pro back up iron sights in training and class settings with professional shooters. He notes that the MBUS Pro has a tendency to sometimes have difficulty staying upright when deployed whereas the polymer-based MBUS has a much stronger tension when standing up.
Duane explains that there is a tradeoff that is made due to the all-steel construction of the MBUS Pro. It will add durability but will not have the same retention as the polymer MBUS sights. He addresses this concern by explaining the MBUS 3 will feature the same spring “bias” system featured in previous models. This spring tension will keep the sight upright unless pressed all the way down (not by a slight knock or touch).
10:02 10/30 PMAG Gen M3 Magazine
Magpul has created a true factory made solution for states subjected to a 10-round magazine restriction. This magazine features the length of a true 30-round magazine but captive at 10 rounds for an AR platform. This the first product line Magpul wishes to one day discontinue as they hope for a future where magazine restrictions no longer exist.
11:08 Daniel asks Duane why Magpul has only now decided to enter this submarket.
Simply put, Magpul saw the demand for a professional, factory-made solution. Duane explains that 10-round magazines that were true to size negatively affected the manual of arms in operating the AR platform (i.e. reloading muscle memory) due to the smaller length. The other major contributing factor was that the aftermarket for converting 30-round PMAGs into 10-rounders was highly unreliable and inconsistent.
14:11 Why has Magpul decided to diversify their product line up for 2021?
Daniel notices that much of Magpul’s upcoming products are quite diverse, ranging from new magazines, iron sights, to bipods and grips. Duane reiterates the mission of Magpul is to be a firearms accessory company for all walks of life, as such their product lines reflect this. Magpul does not wish to pigeonhole themselves as “just” a stock or magazine company.
“We’re shooters. We don’t just shoot ARs, we don’t just shoot AKs, we don’t just shoot shotguns, we don’t just shoot bolt guns… we’re enthusiasts in the entire space and … we have the capability to bring some value”
14:37 Duane gives the example of apparel and other items that aren’t necessarily directly gun related but offer value in brand awareness and everyday items customers would legitimately use.
19:09 Magpul and Zev Technologies Collaborate on the FDC-9 and FDP-9
Magpul and Zev Technologies have finally brought to life the original FMG-9 folding Glock design concept into reality, in the form of the FDC-9 and FDP-9. Magpul is creating the chassis while Zev is constructing the firearm component based on a proprietary variant of the ZEV OZ9 pistol.
20:06 Magpul D-50 Drum Mags
Daniel speaks about his experiences using other manufacturers’ drum magazines and how highly unreliable they are when put to the test. However, Magpul stands out for him as the only company to have produced a drum mag that was durable and consistent in feeding.
Daniel makes the distinction between “fun range” mags and duty ready mags. While certain lower grade magazines are great for training and the entertainment value at the range, having a great warranty serves you no good in the field. Magpul, similarly to their industry-standard Gen M3 PMAGs, have set a high bar of quality control with their D-50 drum magazines.
21:09 What does Magpul do differently with drum magazines?
Duane elaborates upon the difficulty in constructing a reliable feeding drum magazine. The factors that are at play include geometry and friction. The drum’s round shape adds considerably more obstacles in feeding rounds consistently than a simple straight linear feeding system in other mags. There are more contact points and therefore more friction involved in
attempting to move the rounds up.
If a manufacturer simply just adds more spring pressure to feed the rounds faster, this actually creates an adverse effect of adding more friction alongside those contact points. This increased spring pressure coupled with environmental grit getting inside the magazine creates a recipe for a lock-up to occur.
25:47 Magpul stands out in this regard by focusing on the proper geometrical dimensions within the drum magazine to reduce hard friction and the possibility of a lock-up. The guiding goal in creating this magazine was to pass the US military dust reliability standards. Magpul was able to do so by finding the right balance between contact points, guide points, geometry, and spring pressure.
30:14 What lies ahead for 2021?
Daniel implores Duane on his thoughts on what to expect for the rest of the year. Duane and the rest of Magpul are bracing for upcoming gun control legislation by staying plugged in and participating in the legal landscape, especially in regards to magazine capacity restrictions.
Overall, Duane explains there are too many factors at play to make any real educated assessment. With 8.5 million new gun owners in the past year alone, this could drastically change how polling is done in the coming months.
32:14 Building a better future for new gun owners.
Daniel and Duane both speak upon the importance of creating a friendly and educated culture for both new and potential gun owners.
Daniel encourages the idea of spreading this culture but without forcibly doing so in a hostile manner. More often than not, gun owners fall into two main camps: the silent, hands-off type or the hyper vocal, aggressively narrow-minded type. Neither of these propels the firearms community forward. For the latter, this kind of mentality only serves to alienate potential gun owners who could otherwise be convinced as well as exclude new gun owners who are still learning.
34:20 Duane emphasizes the need for avenues that help reach out to new members of the gun community, such as Magpul’s videos on first gun purchases and training. He adds that much of the current community is unfortunately characterized by defensive posturing and being unwelcoming to outsiders. In the effort to debate and convert the other side to be pro 2nd Amendment, the situation may call for something more delicate than a “hammer”.
“It’s ok to inform without being elitist”
38:36 Daniel agrees, adding that gun owners must have empathy for the other side at times. This defensive nature of gun owners can be attributed to constant anti-gun laws, media attacks on the 2nd Amendment, and the overall divisive issue of gun rights.
Duane argues that the key to converting others is to unpack why certain groups of people believe in the anti-gun notions that they do have and perhaps start from there. Using logical arguments and a delicate approach is far superior to confrontational attacks. Of course, not everyone will be convinced and not all camps necessarily even want to have that conversation.
41:14 As an example, Daniel brings up that since he started The Mag Life Podcast, he has had more liberals and left-leaning individuals reaching out than before. Many have expressed their gratitude due to his ability to articulate pro-gun stances in an inclusive and positive manner.
42:19 Walking in the shoes of left-leaning gun owners.
For gun owners who are liberal or otherwise left-leaning, the experience of owning a firearm is very isolating. The topic of gun ownership is divisive to the point that many do not feel comfortable speaking about it out of fear of being socially ostracized in friend circles, family settings, or workplaces. Duane strongly advocates for changing this cultural dynamic as much as we can through education.
Article/Show notes by Eric Huh