Friday, February 21, 2014

Magpul MS3 Sling Development

Magpul MS3 Sling

The Magpul MS3 sling is a replacement design for the MS2 sling design that was sold through 2011. The MS2 sling was a Magpul Theory product that was developed from their Magpul Dynamics training classes. It is a sling that adjusts from a two point attachment configuration that is used when carrying a rifle slung over your shoulder from point A to B, to a single point attach, for when you are using the rifle.

Magpul MS2 Sling
The MS2 proved to be quite popular with interest being generated from the Magpul Dynamics videos. Unfortunately the hardware for the sling was sourced and there were major delays in getting parts, resulting in large quantity of outstanding orders. Because of this the MS3 project was developed to replace the hardware with Magpul designed and manufactured parts.

The original MS3 design showed up in the 2010 Magpul catalog with all new hardware and innovative solutions. One of those was eliminating the sewing operations used on the short strap by clamping the two ends of the webbing in the large connecting D-ring with two triangular MIM parts that can be seen in the photos above. With all the parts tooled up it was ready to go except for some last round testing, which did not go so well. Under a high impact load the webbing was pulling out of MIM parts. The same MS3 design appeared in the 2011 catalog as well with the expectations that the design could be fixed.

Final Magpul MS3 Sling  Design

Shortly after I joined Magpul the back orders for the MS3 could not be ignored any longer and the their was a revised push to get the project done. Where the MS2 was made from sourced parts and assembled by a vendor the new MS3 had major changes to the way the new program was going to run. From what may seem like a simple project there was considerable work to be done by the whole team.

Design - The whole design was revisited to identify what was working and to get rid or improve what was not. The webbing was improved so as not fray when rubbed against velco. It was also made wider to provide more comfort and strength. The clip design was kept from the original MS3 design but with numerous adjustment to dial in the functionality and  also widened for the new webbing. The D-ring was completely redesigned to be simple and strong. The sliders were even specially tuned to make adjusting the sling even easier. The sewing on the short strap was also brought back and refined. Even the "Magpul" tag was redeveloped several times before it reached the final solution.

Production - With all the supply issues of the MS2 still causing a headache the move was made to bring the operation in-house. This required us to source the webbing, procure labels, purchase industrial CNC sewing machines, develop sewing fixtures for the different sewing operations, develop fixtures for clips, hire production staff, set up an assembly line and manage the whole operation.

The end result was a great product that worked, eliminated the back orders over a four month period and led to many more derivative designs being produced. 

If you are interested in seeing the design services I used to help Magpul get this and many other projects into production, or examples of other projects I have worked on click here to go to my website at If you are interested in the MS3 sling you can click her to go to the Magpul website.

Magpul MS3 in FDE