Magpul roared onto the firearms scene in 1999, helping to usher in the era of tactical chic. Their magazines were the gold standard for AR-15 rifles; their accessories style became as universal as suspenders on hipsters. Over the last couple years we’ve watched as their thunderous expansion (at least in firearms accessories) has slowed to a dull roar, tentatively creeping into other platforms like the Remington 870 and Ruger 10/22, but not appearing to commit the same level of effort as their AR-15 line. Now it appears that Magpul is preparing to make their biggest transition as they move from a company that dresses rifles to a company that dresses shooters . . .
Troy McMullen, their director of gear, put it best: “the world doesn’t need another tactical costume company.” The number of manufacturers cranking out shirts and pants which are 100% comfortable on the firing line but 100% unacceptable for a night out with your girlfriend is as numerous as old fat white guys on the NRA convention floor. Not many people have found a way to square that circle, producing garments that have some “tactical” application but still look right on, say, the trendy streets of Austin, Texas.
Magpul has made it their goal to do just that. From semi-formal shirts with concealed compartments to “normal” looking pants with extraordinary capabilities they’ve rolled out a complete solution on day one that aims to suit most shooters.
The strategy makes perfect sense. With opportunities for expansion in the firearms accessory line dwindling, Magpul needs to find a new market to keep growing. The tactical clothing market is jam packed right now, and while some existing companies are dipping their toes into more casual designs, Magpul is diving in head first hoping to out-maneuver the competition.
It’s basically the same strategy they used with the magazine and accessory markets and they did a bang-up job there. Given their past success I have high hopes as to what they can accomplish.