Industry Companies Invest
In THE Future


Sellmark employees and Mansfield community leaders gather to celebrate the
groundbreaking of a 50,000 sq. ft. addition to the company’s headquarters.

Demonstrating a bullish outlook on the prospects of future growth, several industry companies have laid the groundwork for expanding or relocating manufacturing facilities to create jobs and meet elevated demand.

In December, Ruger announced a three-year plan to grow its Mayodan, N.C., production facility — investing approximately $10 million, which will create roughly 60 jobs. Ruger established its $26 million production facility in Mayodan in 2013, and its workforce there currently totals 490.

“This expansion will help us to grow our business and further expand our diverse lineup of rugged, reliable firearms, while at the same time expanding our presence in Rockingham County,” said Mickey Wilson, Ruger VP of Mayodan operations.

Dec. 21, Wilson Combat announced a major facility expansion for 2021, adding 16,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space at its Berryville, Ark., campus. The company estimates this expansion will increase the size of its team by 20%.

“This new space is destined to house new automated machining and grinding centers to enhance parts production, increase overall quality and improve delivery times,” according to a company press release.

Meprolight U.S., maker of electro-optics and self-illuminating day/night sights, recently increased its production and expanded its warehouse capacity in the U.S. to meet demand.

“Our dealers can’t sell it if they don’t have it,” said Bill Yerby, Meprolight U.S. GM and VP of sales.

January, Aero Precision announced it would be leaving Tacoma County (where a tax increase on all firearms and ammunition is due to take effect this year), relocating to nearby Lakewood, Wash. With 800 employees, Aero Precision will be Lakewood’s largest private employer. It began relocating into its 268,000 sq. ft. facility in February, taking a phased approach that will be complete by the end of this year.

Aero Precision made the bold step of relocating to nearby Lakewood, Wash., after Tacoma’s
proposed tax increase on all firearms and ammunition was due to take effect in 2021. Its
268,000 sq. ft. facility will bring Aero’s operations under one roof. “Expanding our footprint
is important for the continued growth of our company,” said Founder and CEO Scott Dover.

“The substantial growth our business has achieved over the past several years has tested the limits of our current facilities. This move will allow a full company consolidation, bringing all Aero Precision operations under one roof,” said Scott Dover, Aero CEO and founder. “Expanding our footprint is important for the continued growth of our company.”

February, Sellmark Corp. announced plans to add a 50,000 sq. ft. building to its international headquarters in Mansfield, Texas. Scheduled to open Dec. 2021, the two-story building will provide extra warehouse capacity, expanded internal production facilities and a product development floor to support Sellmark’s future growth — as well as other amenities for employees, such as a basketball court, two weight rooms, café, nature trails and a wellness center.

“Mansfield has been a fantastic community to grow our business. This city has been wonderful for our employees and their families and we can’t wait for this next phase of development,” said James Sellers, Sellmark CEO.

First announced Nov. 2019, Stag Arms completed its relocation from New Britain, Conn., to Cheyenne, Wyo. The company released its first “Cheyenne, Wyoming”-marked receivers in January, complete with a new logo and branding.

“With the closing of our Connecticut facility in 2020 we ended a chapter in our company’s story. The move to Wyoming has allowed us to write a new chapter and refocus our efforts on building high-quality, American-made rifles that will serve our customers for life,” said Chad Larsen, Stag Arms president.

Other companies to embark on recent expansion efforts — previously covered in Shooting Industry — include SIG SAUER, Kimber and Riton Optics. CrossBreed is also expanding its Springfield, Mo., business footprint (see on p. 14 for additional coverage).

While product, by and large, is still difficult to come by, these moves will help facilitate the flow of products into the retail channel.

Look for future installments of Industry News to highlight these developments. Send updates to:

SSSF Continues MidwayUSA Foundation Support

The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) announced its latest donation of just over $451,258 to team endowment accounts at the MidwayUSA Foundation. These endowments cover youth shooting sports expenses.

Youth shooting teams earned funds by raising money through the SSSF’s Reload For 2021 campaign and the SSSF Member Matching Program. Donations in 2020 benefited 339 teams participating in the Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP) and Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) throughout 37 different states.

Substantial growth of youth shooting sports is evident in the nearly four-fold increase in the number of benefiting teams since 2018. To date, the SSSF has donated over $6.9 million to SCTP and SASP team endowment accounts at the MidwayUSA Foundation.

The Team Endowment Program at the MidwayUSA Foundation gives communities the ability to financially support competitive youth shooting sports programs or assist in the start-up of new programs. The teams may request a grant of up to 5% of their endowment account balance once each year, in either December or June, to pay for team expenses. /

CRKT President Mark Schreiber will serve as chair of
AKTI’s recently expanded Industry Support Committee.

AKTI Expands Industry Support Committee

The American Knife & Tool Institute (AKTI) recently expanded on the role of its Anti-Counterfeiting Committee to centralize how other industry concerns and issues are addressed for members, the knife industry and knife consumers within the nonprofit association. Renamed the Industry Support Committee, it will provide education, resources and support on issues that impact the knife industry and knife consumers.

“For several years, the Anti-Counterfeiting Committee has been focused on sharing information among members to help protect against and challenge counterfeiters in ways that matter and providing expertise on brand protection and intellectual property,” said John Sullivan, AKTI president. “Other industry issues were addressed by the board at large and, with the reorganization and refocus, the Industry Support Committee was expanded to include participation from other levels of membership.”

“With an expanded scope and additional committee members, the Industry Support Committee is posed to tackle a wider range of issues that impact the industry and our members,” stated Mark Schreiber, president of CRKT and chair of the Industry Support Committee. “This past year we provided resources to help the industry deal with the impacts of coronavirus on their business and employees.”

A recent benefit the committee developed for the industry is the online AKTI Knife Industry Career Center on the association’s website at Businesses can post knife industry job openings at no cost, helping the knife industry connect with employees to find the right fit for their teams.

Knife and tool industry businesses can reach out to the AKTI at or (307) 587-8296 with issues they’re facing or concerns for the Industry Support Committee to add to their agenda. /

Hornady Critical Defense Lite

Hornady Supports Cancer Research Organizations

Hornady announced recent donations of $44,955 each to the GRACE Cancer Foundation in Grand Island, Neb., and the American Cancer Society — a total of $89,910.

The donations were funded by setting aside a portion of the sale of Hornady Critical Defense Lite ammunition in 9mm and 38 Spl. Critical Defense Lite featuring a pink bullet tip and pink ribbon packaging to help showcase the fight against cancer.

“We feel incredibly fortunate to have such a big-hearted supporter like Hornady, who believes so strongly in our mission to ensure no cancer patient should ever have to choose between their treatment or their everyday expenses,” said Sarah Koch, GRACE executive director.

“We’re honored to support the GRACE Foundation and American Cancer Society. The assistance these organizations provide cancer patients and their families is remarkable,” said Steve Hornady, company president.

The GRACE Cancer Foundation assists cancer patients who live within 40 miles of Grand Island, or are being treated at either the Saint Francis Cancer Treatment Center or the Mary Lanning Healthcare – Morrison Cancer Center in Hastings, Neb. Help is provided in the form of gas cards, assistance with medical bills or household expenses and more.

The American Cancer Society’s mission is to free the world from cancer by funding and conducting research, sharing expert information, supporting patients and spreading the word about prevention.

Hornady Manufacturing, providing products made in the USA since 1949, is a recognized leader in bullet, ammunition, reloading tool, accessory and security product design and manufacturing. /

Eotech EXPS2-0 holographic sight

EOTECH Awarded KSHP Optics Contract

EOTECH Inc. has been awarded a $277,000 optics contract from the Kansas State Highway Patrol (KSHP). The KSHP chose the EXPS2-0 holographic sight to outfit its new arsenal of carbines.

The contract is part of a group of contracts that awarded new Colt M4 Trooper carbines for KSHP officers and the necessary accessories for each, including 600 EOTECH EXPS2-0 Holographic Weapon Sights with quick-release mounts.

“EOTECH is very pleased the KSHP chose our optic, joining an immense, worldwide community of professional users who count on the speed, accuracy and reliability our holographic technology provides,” said Mark Cockman, EOTECH VP of commercial and law enforcement sales. “We’re confident our products will enhance their capabilities and contribute to providing safety and security for the officers and their community.”

The EOTECH EXPS2-0 is a premium model holographic sight. Like all EOTECH models, it projects a 68 MOA ring and a 1 MOA dot reticle, offering speed and accuracy. It offers brightness buttons on the side of the sight allowing the user to configure a magnifier if needed. It also includes an adjustable, quick-detach mounting base that provides immediate attachment and removal, while positioning the sight at a perfect lower-third co-witness with iron sights.

Announced mid-January, the contract is expected to be fulfilled this month. /

CrossBreed Holsters To Expand OPERATIONS

CrossBreed Holsters announced plans to expand its existing business in Springfield, Mo. The planned expansion represents $600,000 in capital investment and 10 new jobs in the area.

Established in 2005, CrossBreed manufactures handmade handgun holsters. Its products have gained national recognition for their innovative design and high-quality features without the nonfunctional elements of traditional holsters. Over the past several years, the CrossBreed Holsters workforce has increased by 50%. The company’s new facility is expected to accommodate its anticipated future growth.

“The high standard of quality built into every product we sell and ingrained into every employee we have has continued to propel our business to newer and greater levels of success each year,” said Carol Craighead, CrossBreed Holsters owner. “Each position we add is not only an investment in our business, but an investment in Springfield and all of greater Southwest Missouri we are so fortunate to call home.”

“We’re excited about CrossBreed Holsters’ expansion in Springfield. Businesses continue to choose Missouri to expand because we focus on workforce development, infrastructure and maintaining our pro-growth business climate,” said the state’s Department of Economic Development Director Rob Dixon.

CrossBreed Holsters collaborated with the Missouri Works Program, an incentive tool to help companies expand and retain workers by providing access to capital through withholdings or tax credits for job creation. /

Everest Supports USA Clay Target League

Everest, an online marketplace for the outdoor recreation world, announced its Everest Gives Back philanthropic program now includes support for the USA Clay Target League (USA CTL) as an option for its customers.

The USA CTL, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is the independent provider of clay-target shooting sports for secondary and post-secondary schools. It is the nation’s largest youth clay-target shooting sports organization, with over 35,000 participants on some 1,200 school-approved teams nationwide.

The league will receive support from Everest Gives Back in several ways. A portion of Everest’s Caliber Membership revenue is transferred to Everest Gives Back and its partners, while a portion of net revenue is also transferred to the program. Additionally, Everest shoppers are encouraged to select their organization of choice and round up their total order to the nearest dollar as a donation at checkout.

“League athletes are the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts, and they already spend millions of dollars on firearms, ammunition and other outdoor sporting equipment every year. Everest supports these young outdoorsmen/women by providing a great opportunity to find the gear they need at competitive prices,” said John Nelson, president of the USA CTL.

“We applaud the USA Clay Target League’s success in becoming the largest youth clay target-shooting sports organization, with over 30,000 athletes across the country. Their successful efforts in our nation’s high schools and colleges highlight the desire and growth for more shooting sports opportunities,” said Kristi Heuring, CMO for Everest.

Everest’s mission, as a community of like-minded manufacturers, distributors and consumers, is to create what it hopes will become the largest marketplace in existence for the outdoor recreation community. Participating retailers can sell gear, apparel and accessories for all outdoor recreational activities. / /

Celerant Technology, Sportsman’s Supply Form Partnership

Celerant Technology, provider of innovative retail solutions for the firearms and outdoor industry, announced its integration with Sportsman’s Supply, North American distributor of brand-name outdoor, hunting, fishing and camping products.

This partnership allows retailers to carry a wide range of products through Celerant’s point-of-sale, in-store kiosks and e-commerce platform. The integration arrangement automates inventory restocking, “endless aisles” and drop-shipping, making it easier for retailers to expand their product lines and sell more with less effort.

“In today’s multi-channel selling environment, increasing your SKU count and selling reach are paramount to success. Celerant delivers timesaving solutions and automation for brick-and-mortar retailers to expand without tying up shelf space or capital,” said Dave Kirk, sales director of Sportsman’s Supply.

Celerant offers two retail solutions for industry retailers: Cumulus Retail, a cost-effective SaaS solution for smaller dealers, and Stratus Enterprise, a comprehensive solution with advanced functionality. Both solutions are ATF-compliant and integrate with Sportsman’s Supply. / /

Springfield Armory Releases Workbench Series Videos

Springfield Armory has announced the release of the new Springfield Armory Workbench Series of videos supporting some of the most popular firearms offerings in its product line.

The in-depth videos were developed to help new gun owners safely care for and maintain their firearms, as well as provide a useful resource for seasoned gun owners. Consisting of five segments, the series covers the Hellcat family of micro 9mm pistols, SAINT family of rifles and pistols, 1911 family of pistols, M1A family of rifles and XD-M Elite family of pistols.

“The new Springfield Armory Workbench series of videos was created as a helpful guide for the many new gun owners who have recently purchased Springfield Armory firearms. These videos provide both new and experienced owners with instruction on safe disassembly, cleaning, maintenance and reassembly of their favorite Springfield Armory firearm,” said Steve Kramer, VP of marketing for Springfield Armory.

Firearms expert Steve Horsman hosts each of the five segments of the video series, giving viewers a detailed, step-by-step guide on each of the firearms families covered. /

Blackbird Products Group Acquires ABKT

Blackbird Products Group, parent company of Mammoth Coolers and Mammoth PPE Products, announced it acquired American Buffalo Knife and Tool (ABKT). The company is known for its full line of cutlery and multi-tool products.

“After reviewing ABKT’s successes over the past 15 years, our management team felt very comfortable moving forward with the acquisition,” said Bob George, VP of sales and marketing and Business Development of Blackbird Products Group LLC. “Dave McHan, owner of ABKT, is a great businessman to add to our team. We’ll be able to provide dealers and retailers a great line of products at a very favorable price for both the dealer and consumer.”

ABKT focuses on creating high-quality pocketknives and cutlery made for hunting, fishing, first-responders, farming and everyday carry. Instead of stainless steel, ABKT uses carbon steel in their Roper Traditional knives. They also offer a line of ball-bearing knives, D2 Steel knives and assisted-opener knives.

“We at ABKT are excited about this acquisition with Blackbird Products Group,” said Dave McHan, ABKT VP of product development and sourcing. “We’ll strive to give our customers the personal level of service we always have, along with the enhancements Blackbird Products Group can offer.” / /

Daniel Defense Receives ISO 9001:2015 Registration

Daniel Defense announced it has received a Certificate of Registration for ISO 9001:2015, the internationally recognized standard of excellence in quality management.

“Since day one, we set out to design and build the highest-quality products in the industry,” said Marty Daniel, company president and CEO. “I’m so proud to work with the dedicated employees of Daniel Defense. This recognition is a tribute to all of them. Their hard work has led to this quality certification, and it should give all of our military, law enforcement and commercial customers even more reason to trust in Daniel Defense to serve their needs.”

Jason Lovett, Daniel Defense VP of operations added, “This Certificate of Registration for ISO 9001:2015 shows we have repeatable, scalable processes. For Daniel Defense customers, our having a certified quality-management system means they can expect a more consistent experience every time they work with us. It also allows us to provide greater transparency and more effective communication.” /

Primary Arms Introduces New Logo

Primary Arms has unveiled its new company logo, which will represent the company across the optics, retail, wholesale and government divisions.

This announcement coincides with Primary Arms’ 2021 innovation initiative, which includes cutting-edge, new optics product releases and updates to the online shopping experience.

The new logo evokes a more modern aesthetic, better coinciding with Primary Arms’ reputation for quality and inventiveness. Primary Arms also has announced plans to expand its optics, retail and government sales operations, with a focus on customer satisfaction and support.

“This year, Primary Arms is putting an emphasis on innovation. This was the perfect time to unveil our new logo, reflecting both our vision and tradition of excellence. Though SHOT Show 2021 [was] canceled, we’re moving ahead with our new product and service announcements, and we look forward to revealing more about our 2021 initiatives very soon,” said Marshall Lerner, CEO and founder of Primary Arms. /

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