Tag Archives: Duane Liptak

Magpul Brought the Kitchen Sink to SHOT

Magpul, a company that got started to sell and was named for a simple rubber device that attached to the bottom of a magazine to be able to easily pull it out of a pouch, has seriously diversified. This year their most forward-thinking thing at SHOT was the Maztech X4 system, a round counter that also has a ton of data to your LPVO as a bonus. While something like this– for instance the Vortex NGSW-FCU developed for the Army– costs over 10K, Magpul is saying it will be more like $2K from them.

Duane Liptak, Magpul’s boss, had this to say on the system: 

So, lots of questions, I’m sure. First, both Magpul and Maztech were independently working on rounds remaining technology. We ran into each other during this, and realized that our core competencies were complimentary. So we teamed up. Who is Maztech? You don’t know them, but you know their products. Their technology has been incorporated into cutting edge military sensor suites for decades.

What’s it do? Part of it is the rounds remaining system. 100% accurate indication of rounds remaining in the current magazine and on your body. Magazines can be powered (all mag functions are automatic) or unpowered. (Exactly the same function in the gun, but individual mag contents and aggregates are more of a manual process.) The current mag total, including chamber contents, can be displayed on a small discrete display, piped into an optic (or an optic enabler mount like the X4 cradle), or pipes into everything from Bluetooth to military datalink systems.
 
You don’t need to know rounds remaining? You’re a pro and can tell when you’re getting empty? OK. Sure. But this keeps track of everything on your body, can indicate to small unit leaders what his element’s status is during consolidation, and can be viewed by the TOC in real time, so if you’re in a TIC, the battle captain can see if you’re getting past yellow on ammo, and send a speedball before you know you need it.
 
The optic mount uses your low powered variable of choice, 30 or 34mm, and pipes in the rounds remaining information, as we all as provides a ground stabilized ballistics solution if you enter range. (You can cant the gun up to 90 degrees and the ballistic aiming reference, adjusted for changes in line of bore and line of barrel relationships, dangles on a vertical line) Oh, and the system can associate a different ammo type with different magazines…so, you’re shooting subs—you get that ballistic solution. Switch to supers? It gives you the ballistic info for the last sub that’s still in your barrel, then switches to the supers as soon as you pull the trigger. Same with 855A1 and 70TSX or whatever flavors you want to party mix. There is a hot shoe that will allow you to add the Maztech range finder and then do all this automatically. There will also be a see-through, shoot through mini thermal clip-on accessory.
 
Anyway, we’ve been working on this for a few years. This is a technology demonstrator, and we will be developing both military and civilian products from this suite.
 
Cost? Less than you think. The X4 optic mount plus a low powered variable of high quality will be about a third of what anything comparable costs. The range finder add on won’t be terribly expensive. The thermal won’t be cheap, but will be downright reasonable.
The rounds remaining system itself will be relatively inexpensive for what it is. Yes, mags will likely be 2x or 3x more expensive as “dumb” magazines, but that will come down with volume, and all your existing mags will still function, just without the info.
 
The bottom line is that we didn’t talk about this, besides to military customers, until now because we needed to get costs down and iron out the wrinkles, and we’re there now. We’d love to hear what you’d like to see as a commercial offering from this suite.