R&D Precision and Bushmaster Firearms-Our start in the gun industry.
I started in my garage with a Haas Tool room mill and some support equipment. R&D Precision tarted out building tooling for CNC machines. Mostly for contacts I had in Washington State.
Bushmaster Firearms started a satellite company here in Lake Havasu City, which I applied for a foreman position there. While being interviewed, I explained to them that I had a small business and that I wouldn't shut it down to come work for them. This is a small town. I needed security, should Bushmaster decide to close their doors here in Havasu.
Dick Dyke (owner, Bushmaster Firearms) asked me what my business pertained to, and I explained. He hired me, and contracted R&D for new tooling to be built for their C15 product line. His words were. “I commend a guy going out on his own, and making his own way”. This relationship with Bushmaster was R&D's start in the gun industry.
Bushmaster Firearms is no longer in Havasu. They were bought by Cerberus Capital, and dissolved through corporate downsizing. All the people I used to deal with went to other companies, such as Sig Sauer, Beretta, Remington, DPMS, etc. I bought everything I could from the Bushmaster Havasu facility, including all the programs I wrote, and tooling I had made for them. The people I used to work with started calling me from these different companies wanting quotes for their product. This is how R&D continued in this industry.
In 2008, everything boomed. As time went on we were machining bolts, extractors, carriers, gas keys, firing pins, take down pins, triggers, hammers, etc. at quantities anywhere from approx. 1000 to 12000 per month. Depending on what part we were making.
We became a captive shop to the Freedom Group, and took a big hit in late 2014. I decided at that time that R&D should move in a different direction.
We decided to get away from making just AR 223 parts, and pursue off caliber designs. I've made 9mm in the past, and through some persistence and hard work, we managed to get away from the Freedom
Group. We still machine a few jobs for them, but are not captive to them.
The company was moving in the right direction. We were selling some of our 9mm product, and a rep from Palmetto State Armory stopped in my shop one day about a year and half after the big slow down with the Freedom Group. He was on his way up to New Frontier Armory in Las Vegas. He spent a few hours here looking at our product. Which led to where we are today.
That is R&D's story!!