There's a decent chance that if you walked up to a U.S. soldier fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan, some piece of equipment on his rifle would be stamped with the words, "Boulder, CO."No doubt we can expect anti-MagPul drum circles in no time at all.
But Magpul Industries, a growing manufacturer of injection-molded plastic parts primarily for use on the AR-15 weapons platform, isn't actually located in Boulder -- rather it's a few hundred yards from the Boulder County border in Erie.
The company's head honchos know this geographical fact, but they like the bit of irony that comes from a weapon-gear manufacturer operating so close to the liberal stronghold of Boulder.
"We put Boulder, Colorado, on everything that we make, and really that's just a slap in the face to the hippies," said Drake Clark, senior director of sales and business development for Magpul.
Hippie-slapping aside, Clark is dead serious about what Magpul does.
"They're not people, they're hippies!...I hate hippies! I mean, the way they always talk about 'protectin' the earth" and then drive around in cars that get poor gas mileage and wear those stupid bracelets — I hate 'em! I wanna kick 'em in the nuts!"
— Eric Cartman
"Die Hippie Die!" episode of SOUTH PARK
There's a certain humor that here in the People's Republic of Boulder County — 50 square miles surrounded by reality — MagPul anchors the eastern side, I anchor the western side and Col. Robert Brown, founder and publisher of SOLDIER OF FORTUNE Magazine, sits right smack in the belly of the beast on the edge of the University of Colorado campus...hippie central!
This AM I was reading a piece on .22 training on another site (which since I'm not looking for a flame war, I'll fail to mention)...although I didn't agree with some of the conclusions, I realized it reminded me of a very important "truism" — poor practice technique always yields poor real world results. Doesn't matter whether you're practicing with a .22 or a 40mm grenade launcher.
I've been a big proponent of using a .22 for practice in these grim times of no ammo, but it's probably worth stating that all practice — especially practice with dry-firing, AirSoft or lesser caliber guns — must be mindful practice to be useful. When we are practicing with something other than our working firearm, be it competition or personal protection, and standard power ammunition, we need to remind ourselves that we are not exploring the limits of the practice tool. It sort of reminds me of "draft training" on a bicycle...when I was a "serious" amateur triathlete down in Florida when the world was still cooling, we would occasionally do draft training behind a truck....essentially we head out to rural country roads where a friend of ours would drive at increasing speeds while we would draft behind the truck.
The purpose of the drill wasn't to set a land speed record on a bicycle or see how long we could hang onto the draft until the truck sped away. Rather, we were "training" our legs and our body positions on the bike for increased speed. We learned physical lessons we were able to take back to unassisted peddling...and it made us incrementally faster.