Perusing the photo-pandemic known as Instagram, my heart rate kicked up and my finger slid to an abrupt stop on an unlikely image. It wasn’t the latest innovation in arms – I was getting my first look at the Hold Ur Fire Kit – a slick system for organizing, storing, and transporting your smaller arms and accoutrements!
Maybe it’s just me and my possibly undiagnosed OCD, but keeping my firearms organized, dry, and easily accessible / deployable is a priority – especially for the EDC kits I use weekly. It is true, there are many pistol storage systems out there but the simplicity, apparent ease of use, variety of mounting options and availability of extra components drew me to try this USA-made system.
Hold Ur Fire’s Complete Kit includes:
• 1 Docking Station
• 5 Transport Panels
• 20 Cinch Straps
• 4 Rubber Feet for Docking Station
Also pictured above are the Magazine Cuff and Mini-magazine Cuff (available soon).
The Hold Ur Fire docking station is molded black ABS polymer featuring five vertical slots with stopping bumpers at the rear. It’s not some cheap, thin and flimsy base; it has some decent weight to it to help keep it in place and is quite sturdy with clean and smooth edges.
The four provided black rubber feet are of great quality with 3M® adhesive backing. The foot housings are well-recessed, which helps greatly extend the life of the feet.
Or, if so inclined, you could technically drive a screw through the holes in each corner of the docking station and secure it to a shelf, floor, drawer, or other surface.
The five black ABS polymer panels that come with the Hold Ur Fire kit are 1/4-inch thick and measure 9.5″ x 11.5″. They are very rigid, even with the eight strap and accessory slots, four corner holes, and generous 4/5″ x 1 1.8″ oval handle hole. The molded arrow above the handle indicates the proper orientation of the panel.
With all five panels inserted into the base, there are 1 7/8-inches of room between each panel. If needed for larger pistols and items, forgo a neighboring panel to double the leg room. Or move panels with larger items to the outside slot.
Without any items, the assembled system measures 11″ W x 12″ D x 10.5″ H.
To attach firearms, magazines, and other items, feed the provided hook and loop cinch straps strategically through the panel – or take advantage of one of Hold Ur Fire’s mounting accessories.
The Magazine Cuff features a rigid backer with padding and slips through a panel and secures on the back side with a hook and loop closure. The eight elastic loops are designed to hold four to eight short or long single and/or double-stack magazines, or any other smaller items that may find their way into your kit.
While the Magazine Cuff is well-made, functions just as intended, and is an extremely useful accessory, some of the materials used – in particular the layer of padding behind the elastic loops – give moisture more places to gather than I’d like.
Hold Ur Fire’s soon-to-be-released Mini-magazine Cuff is also a must-have accessory when using the system. But I’m baffled as to why they chose a cotton material for the strap – it will only absorb and retain moisture. Given they provided a pre-release version, I’m hoping their final version has nylon straps.
As someone who overtly enjoys organizing, the Hold Ur Fire system was one of the most fun products I’ve tested so far this year. I had an absolute (but not literal) blast creating specific panels for the items I routinely put to use. And I was pleasantly surprised by what I could easily fit onto just one side of a single panel!
Large frame EDC w/ light panel: SIG Sauer P226R EE, Streamlight TLR-1 HD, and two fifteen-round magazines.
Small frame EDC w/ holsters panel: SIG Sauer P238 in Ultimate Holsters Cloud Tuck Hybrid holster and two seven-round magazines, one in an Ultimate Holsters Single Clip Mag Carrier.
Suppressed conversion kit panel: SIG Sauer P226 .22 LR conversion kit, Dead Air Mask HD silencer, two ten-round SIG .22 LR magazines.
Backwoods carry panel: Glock 20C and two fifteen-round magazines, one in G-code magazine holster.
Suppressed Kalashnikov panel: Dead Air PBS-1 Wolverine silencer, two Kalashnikov variant thread pitch adapters, PBS-1 tool, one thirty-round 7.62×39 magazine.
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. That’s a ton of stuff!…it can’t possibly card in and out of the docking station, right?
But it does. And does so extraordinarily well!
In the configuration above each board can easily be removed without snagging on its neighbors.
As previously mentioned, the system also works really well for related items, like the non-pew parts of an EDC kit.
Or for those pistols that simply don’t see range time anymore but aren’t worth parting with. Yup, that’s a bulb light on an xD sub-compact! Thank goodness LEDs are standard place nowadays.
And, as seen in the photo above (supplied by Hold Ur Fire), you can most certainly strap two pistols to a panel. In many cases you can even strap the pistol’s accompanying magazines to the other side of the panel.
However, I’m wholly unwilling to store any weapon with the muzzle pointed at me so that particular orientation isn’t on my list of options. Thankfully you can just flip the orientation of most pistols ninety degrees so they face up and down.
Of course, some pistols are just too large to fit within the confines of the board. One of the things I enjoy about Hold Ur Fire’s design is that it doesn’t box you in (literally). If you have the clearance around the system, there’s no reason why a pistol can’t protrude a little.
If you have a securing ring inside your safe, book case, or drawer, a simple 1/4″ cable lock can add an additional, albeit fairly useless if not rigged correctly, layer of security to your bundled items. Simply feed the cable through the holes located in the corners of the panels.
Those holes also double as hangars for anyone who wishes to mount the panels directly to a wall or other vertical surface.
Throughout the course of a month I put Hold Ur Fire’s system to the test, trying any configuration I could think of and often putting outfitted panels straight into my range bag. And while the docking station, panels, and magazine cuffs stood strong, I broke two of the hook and loop straps without much force.
In each case the heat seal simply didn’t hold and gave up the plastic buckle. Not a deal-breaker by any means, but it would be great to see higher-quality stitched straps available in the future.
Hold Ur Fire’s Complete Kit storage and transportation system, accompanied by the Magazine Cuff and Mini-Magazine Cuff, makes storing pistols, magazines, suppressor systems, EDC kits, and any other small-to-medium sized items a breeze. The system is sturdy and well-designed to allow for seemingly limitless configurations of firearms and accessories on a panel.
But there are some areas where the product could be improved. Without question, the moisture-absorbing materials used in the magazine cuffs are a concern that could be easily addressed. It would be great to see additional magazine cuffs with just two or four elastic bands. And redesigning the panels to be symmetrical would allow users to mount two bases facing each other on vertical surfaces, creating horizontal shelves that slide in and out.
Critiques aside, the Hold Ur Fire system is certainly one I won’t be giving up; in fact, I can’t wait to employ several more of these kits for weekly use and long-term storage. Shooting schools that provide pistols to their students will find the system very advantageous and even FFLs might get good use out of them. And for the average guy or gal who likes to be organized, clean, and ready to deploy their tools at a moment’s notice – even if just for some weekly range time – Hold Ur Fire is a simple and efficient choice!
Specifications: Hold Ur Fire Storage System – Complete Kit
Price as reviewed: $64.99 MSRP
Design: * * * * *
Simple, easy to use, and highly flexible, the Hold Ur Fire system is well-designed for everyday use. The system is “open”, allowing larger items to protrude from the top and sides of the panels and docking station. Configuring the panels is extremely intuitive and can be quite fun.
Ratings (out of five stars):
Durability: * * * *
Hold Ur Fire didn’t skimp on the thickness of the ABS polymer docking station and panels; they will hold-up to tough conditions, heavy pistols, and loaded magazines. However, the hook and loop straps that come with the kit are somewhat weak due to their heat-sealed manufacturing process.
Effectiveness: * * * * *
The system’s flexibility in regard to mounting orientations, as well as hook and loop closure and elastic strap types, and options for mounting the docking station come together to create a system that will secure your items very well for storage and transportation.
Overall: * * * * 1/2
The Hold Ur Fire system has a simple design, yet is built tough and offers nearly limitless flexibility in terms of items and their orientation. The system also does not box you into a completely confined space – it allows for items to stick above and out from its base. Unfortunately, I have to take a half-star off for the weak hook and loop straps.
Specifications: Hold Ur Fire Magazine Cuff
Price as reviewed: $19.99 MSRP
Overall: * * * *
The Magazine Cuff is a nice reprieve from the standard hook and loop straps. Storing full or empty pistol magazines of all sizes, or any slender small and medium-sized items, is quick and easy. However, it takes up an entire board, only orients in one direction, and there’s no good way to cut it down. The reinforced and padded backer is nice, but draws concerns of water retention.
Specifications: Hold Ur Fire Mini-Magazine Cuff
Price as reviewed: MSRP TBD – PRODUCT AVAILABLE SOON!
Overall: * * *
The Mini-Magazine Cuff is a nice accessory for the Hold Ur Fire system. It can easily be mounted to the storage board in a multitude of ways and retains the majority of pistol and rimfire magazines very well, as well as slender silencers and many other “pocket sized” items. A significant deduction was given for the use of moisture-absorbing materials used in its construction.
Posted in Handguns, Product Reviews Tagged with: Gear Review, Gun safe, Gun Storage, Handgun, handguns, Hold ur Fire, Pistol, Revolver, revolvers, safe, Safe storage, Security, Silencer, Silencers, storage, Suppressor
CMMG just announced its BANSHEE line of SBRs and pistols (300 BLK SBR review here) as well as its DefCan suppressors, and, thanks to Silencer Shop, we got our hands on much of the new equipment. With a DefCan 9, DefCan 3Ti, Q Half Nelson, Dead Air Sandman Ti, and two BANSHEEs, I hit the range . . .
CMMG’s DefCans are fairly straightforward suppressors with no frills or gimmicks. The DefCan 3Ti is an all-titanium can available in both direct thread and QD flavors, while the DefCan 9 is all-aluminum.
Worth noting: the 9 is not designed for typical, semi-auto handguns; there’s no booster (Nielson device) available. This is a “sub-gun” suppressor, designed for 9mm rifles of any barrel length or “large format pistols” like CMMG’s MkGs BANSHEE 9mm Pistol or a pistol-format SIG MPX, CZ Scorpion EVO, HK MP5, etc.
With no worries about cycling a tilt-barrel pistol and reduced concerns about balance, CMMG went pretty long on the DefCan 9. Specifically, it’s 10.25 inches in length. This makes it a uniquely long 9mm suppressor. In fact, other than some sub-gun cans from Bowers, it may just be the longest on the market.
Thankfully, its all-7075-aluminum build keeps it lightweight at 10 ounces.
And, in part because aluminum has very high thermal conductivity and in a larger part because of all of that internal volume (as in, cubic inches of air space), the DefCan 9 is a very quiet suppressor, indeed.
On the range with the BANSHEE 9mm SBR, I found it entirely comfortable to shoot sans hearing protection whether firing subsonic or supersonic ammunition. Certainly the DefCan is an extremely quiet suppressor, knocking down the muzzle-end sound to an absolute minimum.
CMMG’s radial delayed blowback operation in the BANSHEE also helped by reducing noise out of the port. This “AR-9” is noticeably quieter than others — all of them straight blowback — I have shot. That little bit of unlocking delay allows more of the gas and pressure to leave the muzzle and less to pop out of the ejection port. Good stuff.
Additionally, the Bi-Lock QD system is lightning fast and dead nuts simple. Just line up the flash hider’s two lugs with the two slots in the suppressor, press the suppressor towards the handguard to compress its locking collar, and twist approximately a quarter turn. Done, locked, ready to shoot. Removal is the reverse of install, with no release lever or button involved. This means the DefCan can be installed down underneath a handguard while retaining QD functionality.
Overall I really like the features and functionality of the CMMG DefCan 9, and its performance is excellent. But, dang, it’s really long. For use on a little PDW-style sub-gun like the BANSHEE SBR above, my personal preference would be a significantly shorter suppressor, with internal volume bought back via a larger tube diameter.
Specifications: CMMG DefCan 9 (Bi-Lock QD)
Sound Reduction: 32 dB
Materials: 7075 aluminum
Finish: Hard Coat Anodized
Rate of Fire Rating: Full-Auto
Length: 10.25 inches
Diameter: 1 3/8 inches
Weight: 10 ounces
Rating (out of five stars):
Overall * * *
The DefCan 9 is extremely good at suppressing sound and its QD system is great. But it’s really long and there are at least a dozen less-expensive options from other, major manufacturers. Most of which can be used on semi-auto pistols, too. Frankly, unless CMMG was doing some sort of DefCan plus BANSHEE package deal, I cannot envision this winning my dollars over the competition.
Frankly, my thoughts on the DefCan 3Ti don’t deviate a whole lot from those on the DefCan 9. At 9.2 inches it’s well above average .30 cal silencer length, but nowhere near the outlier that the DefCan 9 is. As you can see above, though, it somewhat dwarfs my full-size Sandman Ti and is 33.4 percent longer than the Half Nelson.
Dead Air Sandman Ti.
Q Half Nelson (or halfNELSON™).
Now, don’t necessarily be scared off by the 3Ti’s length. Due to its all-titanium construction it’s fairly lightweight at 17.5 ounces. That’s lighter than the .30 cal silencer average, but in this particular titanium-focused roundup it ends up the heaviest. The Sandman Ti is 16.8 ounces and the Half Nelson just 12.2 ounces (one of the lightest available).
As with the DefCan 9, I have no negative feedback about my range time with the 3Ti. The Bi-Lock QD system is great on the 3Ti just as it is on the 9, and, as you’d expect, it’s a very quiet suppressor.
With it on the muzzle, this shorty little SBR felt more like a standard carbine. But I’d take that all day every day over the increased noise, blast, concussion, and recoil of shooting unsuppressed.
If there’s interest, I’ll revisit the DefCan 3Ti for a more thorough review. You see, 300 Blackout simply doesn’t require a lot of suppressor to knock it down to not only hearing safe, but legitimately comfortable volume levels. All three of these suppressors did that. Extremely well. In fact, I think I preferred the deeper tone of the Half Nelson (which likely comes from its larger, 1.75″ diameter).
From the shooter’s perspective, the Q can was either just as quiet or seemed just as quiet as the other two. While it’s somewhat foolish to rely on a video for this, it sounds in my video like it may actually be quieter due to the ability to hear the brass hitting the ground and the steel-on-steel of the bolt closing more than when I’m shooting with the other toucans. Errr, two cans. Why am I not bored with this stupid dad joke?
As the DefCan 3Ti is rated for use with 7.62 NATO (and hopefully .308 Win) on 16-inch or longer barrels, to properly test its sound suppression capability I’d have to run this larger, more powerful caliber through it. CMMG’s claim of a 32 dB reduction is two or three decibels more than as-tested results with the Dead Air Sandman Ti, which is quite quiet as .30 cal cans go.
On 300 Blackout, though, and especially paired up with a short-barreled gun like the BANSHEE, the DefCan 3Ti wouldn’t be my choice. For this particular use I still must give the nod to my current bae, the Q Trash Panda reviewed here.
Specifications: CMMG DefCan 3Ti (Bi-Lock QD)
Caliber: 7.62mm NATO
Sound Reduction: 32 dB
Materials: all titanium
Rate of Fire Rating: full-auto
Length: 9.2 inches
Diameter: 1.5 inches
Weight: 17.5 ounces
Finish: High Temperature Cerakote
Rating (out of five stars):
Overall * * *
Like with the DefCan 9, I don’t see that the 3Ti stands out from its competition in any significant way. It’s nearer the expensive end of the price spectrum, it’s at the longest end of the length spectrum, it’s a skosh lighter than average (but not enough to be noteworthy) on the weight spectrum, and it’s caliber-limited to 7.62 NATO while most of the competition is good for .300 WinMag or even .300 RUM. Again, unless there were some killer package deal with a CMMG rifle, I can’t see choosing this particular suppressor over its competition.
Ammo for this review provided by Freedom Munitions. Visit www.FreedomMunitions.com and use coupon code “TTAG” for 5% off site-wide on dozens of brands of ammunition, accessories, parts, optics, and more.
The Ingram MAC-10 is a compact, blowback operated machine pistol that was developed by Gordon B. Ingram in 1964. It is chambered in either .45 ACP or 9mm. A two-stage suppressor by Sionics was designed for the MAC-10, which not only abated the noise created, but made it easier to control on full automatic.
The M10 was built predominantly from steel stampings. A notched cocking handle protrudes from the top of the receiver, and by turning the handle 90° would lock the bolt, and act as an indicator the weapon is unable to fire. The M10 has a telescoping bolt, which wraps around the rear face of the barrel. This allows a more compact weapon and balances the weight of the weapon over the pistol grip, where the magazine is located.
The M10 fires from an open bolt, and the light weight of the bolt results in a rapid rate of fire. In addition, this design incorporates a built in feed ramp as part of the trigger guard (a new concept at the time) and to save on cost the magazine was recycled from the M3 Grease Gun. The barrel is threaded to accept a suppressor, which worked by reducing the discharge’s sound, without attempting to reduce the velocity of the bullet. This worked well with the .45 ACP versions, as most loads are subsonic already, as opposed to special, low-powered subsonic loads usually required for suppressed 9mm weapons.
At the suggestion of the United States Army, the suppressor also acted as a foregrip to inhibit muzzle rise when fired. Ingram added a small bracket with a small strap beneath the muzzle to aid in controlling recoil during fully automatic fire. The original rate of fire for the M10 in .45 is approximately 1090 rounds per minute. That of the 9mm M11/9 is approximately 1250 rounds per minute, and that of the smaller MAC-11 in .380 ACP is 1380 rounds per minute.
Due to the weapon’s poor accuracy, in the 1970s International Association of Police Chiefs weapons researcher David Steele described the MAC series as “fit only for combat in a phone booth”.
This is why it was better to use with a suppressor with a two stage design, such as the one from Sionics. Not only did it give the weapon a distinct look, but was very quiet only hearing the cycling of the bolt. The last benefit was an increase in better accuracy.
Sources: FPS Russia, Wikipedia,
dB Foam, when used as directed is safe to use with most firearm suppressor designs and will significantly reduce the sound level of firearm suppressors. Independent testing using a variety of commercial suppressor designs averaged a 3-5 dB reduction with 10 shot strings of fire utilizing MIL-STD-1474E sound level testing procedures. The most significant reduction when using dB Foam was found with the first shot fired with dB reduction in some cases that exceeded 10 dB.
dB Foam has been formulated to maintain the foam consistency for up to 6 months of storage. This attribute will provide the great sound reduction when utilizing the suppressor for hunting and tactical applications.
dBFoam displaces water and provides rust inhibiting protection for the internals of your suppressors and firearms. dB Foam is water soluble, simply wash your suppressor in warm water and wipe dry after use.
dB Foam provides a lubricating film that protects the internal components of suppressors with rust inhibiting properties. Residue that is blown back into the firearm action from the backwash
of the suppressor will provide the same protection to the firearm bore and action.
New for 2017!
Inland Manufacturing is proud to offer the new PM-22 Suppressor designed specifically for rimfire use.
The new PM-22 rimfire suppressor is 5.5″ overall length and just under 1″ diameter. Weighing in at 3.3 oz, it could be one of the lightest suppressors on the market today. The new Inland PM-22 is constructed with an aluminum tube and stainless steel base threaded ½ X 28 TPI. The I-Core polymer monolithic disposable baffle system features the X Baffle system that was designed to be used dry or with the new dB Foam suppressor foam for maximum efficiency.
Inland Products & dB Foam
Silencing the Competition with the new TURBO sound suppressor by YHM Yankee Hill Machine is proud to announce the release of the TURBO, the all new 5.56 suppressor. It was designed to meet the increasing demand for a quiet, yet lightweight sound suppressor that won’t break the bank. As the current state of the suppressor industry grows and evolves, the demand for a high-tech, cost effective suppressor becomes more apparent.
Since we first began milling out handguards as a firearms manufacturer, YHM has built a strong reputation on producing the highest quality products for the everyday shooter that doesn’t have access to an unlimited budget. The same YHM commitment lives on, bringing the modern suppressed shooter a superior product at an attainable price point.
The TURBO utilizes a tubeless design made from heat treated 17-4 stainless steel along with a heat treated 718 Inconel blast baffle. The combination of these materials allows the suppressor to be full auto rated and designed for rigorous use. The overall length measures 6.5” with a 1.5625” diameter -all while weighing in at a surprising 13.5 oz. Having an average sound pressure level of 134dB on a 14.5” AR shooting 55 grain ammo, the TURBO is well within the hearing safe threshold of 140 dB. Built with the same care, quality, and attention to detail that has defined the YHM brand for generations.
With an MSRP of $489 (which includes a Q.D. brake) the TURBO was created to supply the modern suppressor community with a full-featured suppressor at an affordable price.
Learn more at YHM.net
What happens when a newcomer to the industry combines tradition with cutting-edge technology and 21st-century company culture? Magic. Welcome to the universe that Josh Waldron and Jonathon Shults have created in the Salt Lake Valley of Utah. Two less likely candidates to start a firearms company have never come together before.
Waldron was a professional photographer by trade. He spent years on assignments for publications like Newsweek, Outdoor Life and Forbes. Feeling maxed out as a photographer, Waldron wanted to do something challenging, but fun. “If you’re going to work, do something that you love; otherwise, what’s the point of being on this earth?” Waldron said during our interview. He grew up in northern Utah County, Utah, where shooting sports are popular and places to shoot and hunt are abundant.
Shults, Waldron’s partner and lifelong friend, was a music producer and sound engineer before they joined forces to revolutionize the suppressor industry. He too, grew up in northern Utah County.
MANY EUROPEANS COUNTRIES ENCOURAGE THE USE OF SILENCERS SIMPLY TO FIGHT
What brings two artists into the world of manufacturing and firearms? Customer service, or more accurately the lack thereof. Waldron told me, “Shults and I have always loved shooting and we started buying suppressors in our early twenties. We were often disappointed in the quality, as well as the customer service. It was horrible.” Not only did these two dislike poor customer service, they also felt that the suppressor industry was archaic and inept. The market was ripe for a revolution, and Waldron and Shults were poised to lead it.
Describing the diversity of SilencerCo’s team is much like describing the taste of sugar; one must experience it first hand in order to truly grasp the concept.
The team is an eclectic group: beards, tattoos, bright red hair and piercings are just a few of the things one will see when walking the floor. What is immediately apparent from the moment one steps into the workspace is excitement, fun and creativity. These are exactly the things that are generally lacking in a firearms manufacturing facility.
The team members come from across the country and all walks of life. While I visited their 72,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Salt Lake City, I met this group. Many are prior military representing all branches of service, but there are also ferriers, blacksmiths, graffiti artists, gun armorers, painters, photographers, graphic artists, videographers, editors and engineers. They do not fit any kind of traditional mold other than they love what they do and are creative thinkers. The SilencerCo atmosphere is more like a software firm than a firearms company. If you are looking for crusty old men talking about the good ol’ days, you’ve come to the wrong place.
The director of product, Willie Booras, is a twenty-something with the most vibrant, almost iridescent, red hair I’ve ever seen. She (yes, she) is from a small town in Wyoming and studied industrial design at Georgia Tech before coming to Utah. She is a fun, smart, no-nonsense lady who gets things done. Not only does she oversee all of SilencerCo’s products from start to finish, she is also in charge of large-scale events, as well as branding and public relations. A testament to her abilities can be found in SilencerCo’s award for best booth at the 2015 SHOT Show.
SilencerCo’s CFO, Josh Mercer, has an unusual background. Before becoming a financial wizard Mercer earned his Bachelor of Science in biochemistry, followed by a Masters of Business Administration with an emphasis in finance.
I also met Ellie, a beautiful, fair-haired golden retriever that comes to work with Booras, and another dog named Izzie, a blue healer, that kept a close eye on me during my tour of the facility, making sure that I, too, was well behaved. All employees are encouraged to bring their dogs to work.
The customer service team is the number one department at the company. SilencerCo came to be because of poor customer service, so they make sure this area is the best of the best. They warranty all of their products for life and will, according to them, “even fix stupid, once.” They told me about a customer who had used the incorrect thread adapter to install his suppressor on a handgun. This ruined the baffles as well as the threads on his barrel. They fixed not only the suppressor, but the threads on his barrel at no cost – once.
Firearms companies tend to use known gun celebrities in their ads and on their websites. SilencerCo headed in another direction. Waldron uses personalities outside of the traditional gun channels. On his website you’ll find videos of Aoki, a music phenom who double majored at U.C. Santa Barbara in Women’s Studies and Sociology; Travis Browne, an MMA fighter in the UFC’s heavyweight division; and Cam Zink, an insane, professional mountain-bike rider who apparently fears nothing. These three have nothing in common except that they all love shooting firearms, sporting suppressors from SilencerCo, and value their hearing.
What makes Waldron and the SilencerCo team think that this kind of marketing will work? Waldron stated it very simply: “If you want to control a market, you use known industry insiders in your marketing, but if you want to create a new market, you use other industry insiders.” Waldron and his team of fanatics have created an entirely new market, which is where shooters from all areas of the industry come to buy the highest quality and most reliable suppressors made by the most innovative company in the firearms industry, where excellent customer service is the minimum and exceeding customer expectation is mandatory.
Times haven’t always been this good, though. In the beginning there were many weeks when Waldron had no idea how he was going to even make payroll, and it was two and half years before he actually took a paycheck home. Waldron and Shults had trouble finding people to loan them money to grow the business, and when they did find a lender, they were forced to endure loan-shark-level interest rates.
While Waldron no longer worries about making payroll, he isn’t sitting in his office admiring his successes either. Everyday Waldron worries about his company and strives towards perpetual innovation. When a company stands still they are actually moving backwards. Complacency breeds laziness, which can ruin companies. There is no laziness or complacency at this company, and this applies to the CEO, president, machinists, office staff and everyone else in the SilencerCo family.
For a company to be highly successful and creative they must espouse a company philosophy. SilencerCo takes this seriously; so seriously, in fact, they have a vice president of culture.
The VP of culture focuses on recruiting and retaining the best and brightest talent available. This atmosphere is vital when creativity is essential. Creators and innovators must think outside of the proverbial box in order to be successful. Once inside a box, creativity is stifled and innovation suffocated.
While the worries of being a new company have, for the most part, passed, new worries have taken their place. The biggest is production. Waldron and his crew are so good at what they do and are providing such a superior product that they are operating at full capacity — all the time. While this may sound like a highlight, operating this way leaves a company vulnerable to disaster if a machine or an employee goes down.
Wait times are another issue that must be addressed when a manufacturer is operating at full capacity. Most consumers will happily wait for quality, but not forever.
SilencerCo is vertically integrated, meaning that you only rely on outside companies for raw material. In the manufacturing world this is the holy grail. Quality and precision are in the hands of their talented machinists, allowing the company to avoid issues of correcting outside quality-control mistakes.
Not only do they control manufacturing from start to finish, all of the advertising, PR, photographs, videos, editing and anything else they need is handled in house.
It’s not just innovation, creativity and operating at full capacity that have Waldron and the SilencerCo crew occupied; they have also started a campaign aimed at getting the archaic and invasive National Firearms Act changed to reflect the 21st century. Many may think that the 1934 NFA was passed in an attempt to thwart gangland mobsters like Al Capone, Lucky Luciano and Bugsy Moran from getting silencers and concealable and automatic weapons, but in truth it was designed to thwart poaching and to keep hunters from quieting their firearms to shoot under the radar.
Flash forward to the 21st century and the law still stands, as does the tax stamp required to own silencers. The misconception is, of course, that a silencer (or suppressor, depending on who you ask) only reduces the noise level to a tolerable and safe decibel. It does not render a firearm completely silent. The ammunition someone is shooting (supersonic, or subsonic) will determine how quiet a gun’s report will be. A supersonic round will still crack and a subsonic round will be much quieter.
With these issues in mind Waldron started the Fight The Noise campaign. This effort focuses on hearing loss in the shooting-sports world. The number one medical claim for veterans today is tinnitus, a constant ringing or buzzing in the ears. This problem alone costs close to $2 billion in medical bills annually.
Guns by their very nature are loud, but that doesn’t mean the shooter should be subjected to punishing noise during target practice, hunting, serving in the military or working as a cop. The United States is falling behind the rest of the industrialized world in our treatment of suppressors. In Denmark, Finland, and Germany only a firearms license is required to own a suppressor. In Poland, Ukraine and Norway, suppressors aren’t regulated at all. Many European countries, including France, encourage the use of silencers simply to fight noise pollution.
Fight The Noise is pushing back and not accepting status quo as an answer.
The webpage is clear on their goals: “Fight the Noise is a movement to regain our voice. To exercise our right to protect our hearing and silence the sound. To be responsible gun owners and be treated as such. We want law-abiding citizens to have the ability to purchase and own silencers without being subjected to excessive wait times, paperwork, and taxes. We are the silent majority, and it is our time to be heard. We are your friends. We are your coworkers. We are the suppressed.”
With this campaign, Waldron and crew hope to educate the general public, making them aware that: 1) silencers are legal; 2) you shouldn’t have to pay an extra tax and wait months for the ATF to act just to own a silencer; 3) and guns don’t have to be loud.
The campaign is clever in its simplicity. Supporters are asked to take a picture of themselves with a piece of tape over their mouths. The tape says Fight The Noise. There are pictures of kids, mothers, grandmothers, businessmen, cops and soldiers. There are also a fair number of celebrities who have joined the fight, including Jep Robertson of Duck Dynasty. All races and walks of life are represented in the campaign lending an aura of unity amongst a diverse following.
Steve Jobs spoke of people like Waldron and his SilencerCo mates when he said:
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently, and not fond of rules. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things, they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
If you think that SilencerCo will stay in their lane, you have a big surprise coming. I’ve been sworn to secrecy about what’s next for them, but I can tell you that they are poised to make waves in other parts of the industry in the very near future. Love ’em or hate ’em, you can’t ignore ’em. They are here to stay and are ready to change the way business is done in a good ol’ boy industry. ASJ
Posted in Industry Tagged with: Best booth, Duck Dynasty, Fight The Noise, Jep Robertson, Jonothan Shults, Josh Waldron, SHOT Show, Silencer, Silencerco, Steve Jobs, Suppressor, Troy Taysom, Willie Booras