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.
WRITTEN BY JADE MOLDAE, 2021
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