GUNTALK S5: Black Hills Cowboys, Pt 3


(tranquil music) – Black Hills
Ammunition is basically custom loaded
ammunition as close to perfect can loads
as you can make, but done on a production basis. We’d, sometimes, have
people come to me and say, “Well, Jeff,
if you would do this, “I do this for my rifle.” That’s okay as long as I
can do it for every rifle. We have to load for every rifle, every handgun out there. It’s gotta work safely and with optimum performance for everything out there. That’s the challenge
that we face is to provide hand
loaded performance on a production basis. We load for a lot of
these military units that demand the utmost. One of the first
ones was in 1996 when the Army Marksmanship unit allowed us to bid and surprised us because we won the contract and after
winning that bid, which had extremely demanding
accuracy requirements, we waited and pretty soon the Marines came to us and the Navy came to
us and said, you know, “You’re doing some
stuff for the Army. “Can you do some
stuff for us too?” That’s one thing about
making ammunition for the military is we are
firm believers in Murphy. You can’t let
anything go to chance because if anything goes bad, it’s going to happen
at the absolutely worst possible moment. It’s going to happen
with some SF troop kicking down the
door of a mud hut and he’s gonna
get into the room, fire one round
and he’s gonna jam and he’s gonna be
surrounded by enemies. That’s the vision that we have that we do our best to avoid. We build for that so
that when that guy goes through that door, the ammunition is going to work and he can stake his life on it. (lively music) I think it was
Vince Lombardi that, I can’t quote him
exactly, but he said that winning is not
a sometime thing. So once you’ve
dedicated yourself to providing quality,
you can’t look at another product that
somebody might not be depending on for their life. If Cowboy Action Ammo, those guys are shooting targets. Highly unlikely
they’re ever gonna be staking their life on it. But we build it to
the same standard because that’s the
way we do stuff. You build it to get
the most performance out of that whether
the guy is shooting targets at seven yards for fun or whether he’s
shooting at 700 yards to defend this country. Employees are all part of
the Black Hills family. We don’t look at it that this is Jeff and Kristi’s business because Jeff and Kristi
can’t do all this. If I could, we wouldn’t
need 70 employees. We hire a lot of
military veterans. That’s worked out
really well for us because those people
have an entire career of 20 years or more knowing that they
have to get up, go to work, do a good job, get along with everybody and care about
what they’re doing. So we have a careful
selection process and one of our rules is when we hire people we say, our number one rule
here is be nice. Everybody will treat
everybody with respect and we get along real well and everybody pulls together. And everybody really cares about what they’re producing. We’ve had a number
of people there with children who are grown now and in the services
off fighting somewhere and we’re building ammo and those people think about, “Maybe my son is
going to be carrying “this ammunition.” So they really care
about what we’re doing. We’ve got an excellent advantage over everybody else. We’re an assembly plant. We don’t make any of
the component parts. Now some people
think that might be a disadvantage because we
have to buy those things. I look at it as an advantage because we can select
the very best products from everybody out
there for the use and assembly in our product. If we find Brand A
of brass is better because it’s harder,
durable, more uniform, we can buy that brass. Same thing with a
certain propellant. We can test
everybody’s propellant, pick the one that
best suits our needs. Same way with projectiles. And a lot of people
look at it and say, “Jeff, how does that work? “The people you’re buying from “are your competitors.” And it’s not that
way in this industry. This industry is
very close knit. We’ve got great relationships with everybody in the industry. We nurture them. We treat them right. We do what we say
we’re going to do. If we order product, we take it. And we treat them well
and they treat us good. We’ve got relationships
with people like Hodgson and Western and Sierra, Hornady, Barnes that go back two and three decades and it works very well for us. – [Voiceover] Coming up,
we pit the modern Magnum against the old classic
with surprising results. Jeff took us back to his lab because he wanted to show
that these old cartridges are still pretty darn good.

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