New line of shotguns to bring jobs to Treasure Valley
A deal to make firearms will breathe new life into a Meridian machine shop.
BY SANDRA FORESTER - email@example.com
A new line of shotguns will roll off the assembly line for the first time
Thursday in Meridian, boosting a business that has lost jobs and work hours in
Advanced Precision Machining, 180 S. Adkins Way, founded in 1981, makes
proprietary precision medical and semiconductor parts and prototypes for other
companies. It recently began making parts for the shotguns and for rifles.
After losing a major semiconductor client, founder and owner Nick Brackus was
forced to cut back to a staff of 13.
"I have employees who have worked here 22 to 25 years," Brackus said. "We
relied on attrition to reduce our work force, and then I had to cut employees
down to 30 hours."
Now he hopes to restore his staff to full-time work and hire new people.
Brackus retooled his machine shop to make the shotguns. If sales go well -
projections call for 5,000 a month - "we have the potential of actually
increasing jobs here by double, up to about 30 jobs," he said.
The shotguns were Jim Bentley's idea. Bentley is president of Krow Innovation,
a Boise marketing firm. He said he thought of assembling a shotgun in the
United States when he was in Ismir, Turkey, visiting Hatsan Arms Co., an
accessory manufacturing plant.
He arranged for Advanced Precision to make the guns and for Legacy Sports, an
international firearms importer and distributor based in Nevada, to buy them.
Legacy has ordered 1,000 shotguns a month to start.
"I came to Idaho myself because there's a great manufacturing environment
here," said Bentley, who previously owned Knoxx Industries, a firearms
accessory business in California, before selling it to Blackhawk Products of
Meridian. Blackhawk will accessorize the shotguns.
A line of rifles will be introduced later this month, too. The shotgun and
rifle lines will be sold under the brand name Citadel.
Prices haven't been established.
One shotgun model is black and silver, another camouflage. Other models will
become available in November.
Parts such as triggers, fourends and barrels will be imported from Hatsan
Arms. The magazine and other parts will be made and assembled at Advanced
Idaho's Department of Commerce assisted Brackus in the federal licensing
process required to manufacture firearms.
"We have been wanting to sell a U.S.-made shotgun," said Gene Lumsden, owner
of Legacy Sports. "Because of the dollar being devalued, it's becoming more
difficult to buy overseas. And Idaho has a very friendly climate for what we
Sandra Forester: 377-6464