Now, I’ve written about the Magul Masada on these pages before, but our friends over at Soldier of Fortune had an opportunity to test fire one of these innovative rifles out in Colorado. They’ve been kind enough to let us cross-post it here and at Military.com.
A quick note: I actually met the folks from Magpul at the Marine Corps’ Expeditionary Warrior show at Quantico last October. The young guns there are charged up about their new rifle and have launched a grass-roots effort to gather interest in the American-designed-and-built alternative to the M4. With the sandstorm test concluded and the debate on the cusp of heating back up on an M4 alternative, it’s worth giving the Magpul Masada a second look.
Here’s an excerpt of the “Masada Test Shoot” story. For more, check out the entire story at Military.com’s Warfighter’s Forum…
Just when most of us thought we’d seen it all, Magpul Industries Corp., of Boulder, Colorado, brought their new Masada tactical rifle to Orlando and literally stopped the 2007 SHOT Show. Immediately apparent was that this was not just another 5.56mm NATO rifle, not by a long shot. Blending the best materials with state-of-the-art production methods, the Masada also combined new ideas with long-standard operating principles to bring an advanced rifle to the 21st Century table.
The company began with a soft (rubbery) polymer device that resembles a jock strap for a magazine, and Richard Fitzpatrick became an “overnight” success with his Magpul from which his innovative company got its name. Not only does the Magpul make it infinitely easier to get your magazine out of its pouch, but is also protects it when it hits the pavement during a speed reload.
Next came Rich’s first M16 stock. He and I laughed when I recounted introducing him to a huge firearms manufacturer a few SHOT Show’s ago. To my horror, the marketing folks treated Rich like hammered dog s–t, telling him his product would never sell. Not only did it sell well — to the U.S. military ? but Magpul now has a rifle that could leave that other company’s entry howling by the side of the road.
A group effort, the Masada is the creation of Magpul’s founder, Richard Fitzpatrick, Mike Mayberry, Eric and Brian Nakyama and Drake Clark. The Masada is initially produced in 5.56x45mm NATO (.223 Rem.), and is operated by a conventional short-stroke gas piston.
However, the rifle will likely also be produced in several other calibers, to include 7.62x39mm (already produced), 5.45x39mm, 6.8x43mm SPC and 6.5mm Grendel.
Using a now-conventional rotating multilug bolt and carrier, the Masada also has many surprises. As such, it will be exciting news for American law enforcement, not to mention the U.S. military and those of friendly foreign countries. Make no mistake about the latter element, as Richard Fitzpatrick is a former U.S. Marine and damned proud of it. Recently I traveled 300 miles over “the mountain” to Denver for a first look and live fire test of the Masada and of Magpul.
Unless a designer is influenced by “something” other than history, he or she may come up with something that looks like it escaped from a science fiction movie, and firearms are no exception. We’ve all seen them come and go, and come and go again. Not so with the Masada: Oh, your eye will be captivated by the rifle at first glance, but it will be magnetic instead of the all too usual, “What the…?”
Somewhat suggestive of the M16 rifle, the Masada does have some things in common with that rifle. From the gas block forward, the barrel in either light or heavy configuration, is essentially M16, and will accept a SureFire Suppressor mount or those of virtually any other manufacturer.