Serious problems at MagPul

So Travis Haley leaves MagPul… and now Chris Costa is jumping ship?
MagPul is in serious trouble now because when you have to two biggest rock stars in the industry that makes your products look cool and sets them apart from everything else, and then you don’t have those guys anymore.  What do you have?  You have a company that makes makes AR accessories… just like a whole bunch of other companies… CMMG, Mako, Tango Down… too many to list.  So what is going to set them apart now?

And what guys are going to have the balls to stand up and take Costa’s place in MagPul’s training?  I know one guy.  That’s it.  And he’s running his own company.   I know there are going to be a couple huge egos that are going to want to try to step up for this… I have two names written down that I’m not going to say.  Huge egos, decent trainers, sure.  But they are not the rock stars that Travis and Chris are and I seriously doubt they are going to be able to pull off what MagPul has done in the past.

I think MagPul is on its way out like a lot of other good companies.  Because it’s not the product that makes the company – it’s the people.  And MagPul isn’t going to find people like Travis and Chris.  They were the faces of MagPul.

14 thoughts on “Serious problems at MagPul”

  1. “So what is going to set them apart now?”

    Well, they’re still making *quality* gear, so why not that?

      1. Not many of them have the same breadth of offerings. Magpul offers magazines for three or more different platforms (AR-15, SR-25, G36, various Eurorifles the EMAG is for), two or three styles of rail covers, multiple stocks for different purposes, multiple pistol grips (modular, rubberized, different angle, and a normal style) with internal storage, fore grips, front and rear sling attachment points, back-up sights, handguards, training videos …

        They’re not on the forefront with everything, and there are some things they don’t offer (e. g. a basic fixed stock, a free-float tube), but there don’t seem to be a lot of companies offering the same breadth of stuff at the same level of quality. Troy makes a lot of the same stuff (and a few things Magpul doesn’t, including stuff for weapons Magpul doesn’t support), but nothing in training. The companies that do training offer a few odds and ends, but never all the furniture and magazines and what-not.

        Right now, Magpul’s basically a one-stop shop for tarting up your AR, and it’s at least as high quality (and often better) as the alternatives. (Or so it seems to me.)

        My other observation is that Magpul existed and did interesting things before acquiring Haley’s Simply Dynamic for their training division, and I see no reason to think they’ll stop doing interesting things with Haley and Costa departing for other opportunities. (OTOH, I’m really ready to see them do something both interesting and firearms-related. The truck rally and the iPhone case and the Ronin bike from a while back are neat and all, but not really what I want to see.)

      2. What other companies? Tapco is crap. Mako is a joke. Okay so vltor makes good stocks, but they aren’t that great looking, not sexy like magpul. The Troy clubfoot stock is grotesquely ugly. The only other stock I would consider beside magpul right now is the Wilson/colt superstock, and even it I dont like all that Much.

        Grips? I guess tango down makes some but I never liked the shape or size.

        Magazines? Tapco are toys, Troy’s new polymer mags are ugly. metal Mags just plain suck ass.

        Rail covers? Tango downs are good, but nobody has anything like the XTMs.

        Bad lever? Phase five has a nice one I guess.

        A company that makes at least one of all of these that you like, and that are the same color so that your rifle will match? None are as good as magpul.

        There are some great companies making great kit but none if them have the wide collection of products like magpul. I don’t thin magpul’s going anywhere.

  2. I fear you are right. The quality of the products, and I think especially the popularity of some of them (PMags!) will carry the company for a while, but it will never be the same.

  3. it’s the people.

    When you see the team leaders leave, you know there is problems behind closed doors.
    Glock? Yep!
    Sig? Yep!
    Paraclete, who made the best body armor in the world? Yep!

  4. Sometimes, when people get popular, they want to leave and set up their own shop. Travis Haley already has, and Chris Costa can print his own money.

    However, it is weird they did bail not very long after Magpul revived a “Significant investment.” Both strike me as highly individualistic and intelligent people. Perhaps they didn’t want to work for a corporate master.

    There’s an upside, though. Haley has, apperentley, a ROCKING new training outfit. Article for it here.

  5. I’m not 100% sure that Magpul is going to lose much in the way of quality and/or innovation simply because 2 of their team leave. Granted, they were 2 huge names and have contributed to many of the products, but no company can stake their business on so few people. Not everyone knows who they are outside of the firearms training community as there are many, if not the majority of buyers, who simply want the “cool guy” stuff and have no idea who Costa & Haley are.

    1. I agree. Most people, shooters included, would ask “Chris who?” Besides I have never bought, nor will I ever buy, something because of a spokesperson or “rockstar” personality.

      Let ’em go. There’s just as good and even much better out there. I never cottoned to those guys anyway. Personally I’d prefer Paul Howe, John Nettles or even, *gasp*, Clint Smith.

  6. Meh. I dont know. I buy magpul stuff because it works and it looks sexy and it’s usually affordable, not cause it has chris costa’s face on it. Chris and Travis were definitely part of the team but they were not CAD programmers or design majors. The people who really make the nuts and bolts if magpul’s products are still there, still designing. Travis left to do his own thing, Chris left because he wants to spend more time with his family and do his own thing. I wouldn’t want to spend my whole life flaying all around the country to teach classes either.

  7. Training wise, I think you are spot on. without those two its going to be tough to produce the same product as before…who to replace them?…hmmmm..I hear Lynn Thompson is available (just joking!)

    as for their hardware I think the company will endure for several of the same reasons listed above, quality, appearance and most importantly customer loyalty. In addition I believe they still have corporate contracts with S&W and a few other makers that market their products installed on their builds (S&W MOE edition for example).

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