SCOTTSBORO, Ala. - Remington may be the biggest name in firearms here in the Huntsville area, but a group of former defense contractors are jumping into the gun-market head first.
Flint River Armory started from a sketch on a restaurant napkin. Charley, Tony, Mike and John gathered for a meal and discussed dreams of the future.
“I don’t even remember who said it first but went hey why don’t we build a gun. So we kind of joked around and talked about it and said okay we’ll do a .45," says Charley Groves, the CEO of Flint River Armory.
Groves sold his beloved Jeep for capital, eventually left his job as a defense contractor and so the fledgling company was born.
“And then that went to putting it into a 3D program and a few months down the road, we said, I think we can make this happen," he says.
They spend the next 4 years going through various designs for the .45 caliber ACP Carbine, until about four and a half months ago, when they made their first delivery. The rifle is as Alabama as football, with their headquarters in Huntsville and assembled in Scottsboro.
“75% of this weapon is made in Alabama, either in Jackson Co, Winston Co, or Cullman County. And the only reason why 100% isn’t is because local folks don’t make the parts that we need like magazines and barrels," he says.
The rest of the parts are American made. “If you’re going to give someone a job, let’s give a job local. Or if you can’t do it local, do it in the US," says Groves.
After just a couple of months on the market, the pistol is already sold in nearly 10 states. Charley believes the success is due to the design.
“From the ATF, we’re the only people that they know of that makes a .45 ACP carbine with a short stroke gas piston and a rotating lock and bolt," he says.
The CEO says he knows it's a niche product, but as long as they're the best in that sector, the former drone contractor is excited to see his business take off.
If you'd like to purchase one of Flint River Armory's rifles here in the Valley, both Larry's Pistol and Pawn and Last Resort Guns are licensed retailers.