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Design Society

Design Society:
Mr. Richard Fitzpatrick, Founder of Magpul Industries,
and Mr Mike Maybury
on ‘The Challenges of Designing for Combat’
 


The talk started off with Mr Fitzpatrick covering Magpul’s foundation in 1999 after he left USMC with the original Magpul idea (an injection-moulded loop that fitted onto the bottom of magazines, allowing for them to be pulled out of pouches quicker), and its design philosophy. Magpul designs and produces magazines, fore grips, hand guards, stocks, and other accessories for various systems, though mostly the AR15, M16, or M4.

The boys were shown the development of one of Magpul’s stocks (CTR stock), designed for the AR15/M16/M4 weapons systems, followed by the idea and development of the Masada, which was built as a concept for a fully ambidextrous ‘dream rifle’ to replace the M4/M16 (and in order to show certain military establishments that it doesn’t take 15 years and cost around $20m to procure a replacement). In comparison, the design to production of the prototype took around 3-4 months, costing only around $100,000. The original prototypes allowed for rapid reconfigurable length (changing barrel lengths), calibre, magazine compatibility, and stocks, which are all something rarely found with the more common rifles. Magpul Industries recently licensed the designs to Remington, who released it early on this year as the Bushmaster ACR.

Mr Fitzpatrick then gave a brief overview of the design of the downward recoil system for the Kriss Super V (more commonly known as the Vector SMG), and finished off with clips of the prototype 9mm FMG, and submersion tests for the ACR. (Fully submerged, then allowed one second to drain before firing. The same test blows up a M4/M16!).
All in all, it was a fascinating and revealing insight into both an industry that is rarely looked at by those not in the market and into the challenges of designing for such a market, while coping with competition in a field where military contracts can be worth millions.
 
Matthew Allhusen (MAG)
 
DATE POSTED: 25 February 2010

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