Firearms Innovation and Market Trends With Rob Pincus From Avidity Arms

About This Episode

In today’s episode of Tactical Business, host Wade Skalsky sits down with Rob Pincus from Avidity Arms. Join us as Rob discusses the intricacies of gun design, his journey in the firearms industry, and the balance between personal preferences, market demands, and student needs. Learn about his extensive experience with various firearms, from books to DVDs, and his hands-on coaching. Explore the innovative features of the PD10, a mid-size gun designed to fit many hands, and understand the importance of functionality and practicality in defensive shooting. Don’t miss this deep dive into firearm education and development!

Insights In This Episode

  • Holster support is crucial for any new defensive carry gun.
  • The PD10 was designed to fit as many hands as possible.
  • They emphasize American manufacturing and quality, avoiding outsourced or MIM parts.
  • The AR collaboration with NEMO brings something unique to the market.
  • Avidity Arms balance innovation with practical needs in their product designs.

About Tactical Business

Tactical Business is the weekly business show for the firearms industry. The podcast features in-depth interviews with the entrepreneurs, professionals and technologists who are enabling the next generation of firearms businesses to innovate and grow.

Episode Transcript

Wade: Welcome to the Tactical Business Show. I’m your host, Virginia Beach based firearms entrepreneur and copywriter Wade Skalsky. Each episode will be exploring what it takes to thrive as a business owner in the firearms industry. We’ll speak with successful firearms industry entrepreneurs about their experiences building their companies, leaders and legislators who are shaping the industry, and tech executives whose innovations will reshape the future of the firearms industry. Let’s get after it. Welcome to the Tactical Business Podcast. I am your host, Wade Skalsky, and today we are meeting with Rob Pincus of Avidity Arms. Rob, how are you doing today, sir?

Rob: Doing great man. Beautiful day down here in North Carolina. I was out at the test range earlier and now you get to have a chat with you about Tactical business, all business aspects, I guess, of what we’re doing.

Wade: We can go a little business, we can go a little firearms. We can talk a little bit about hunting North Carolina. So we got a lot of different ways that we can go. But I know that you’ve been in the industry for a while. We like to us older, grizzled guys like to say that we have experience. So walk me through a little bit about how you got into firearms as a business and then how you got to where you are now.

Rob: So yeah, I’ve been in the industry. I say that my first shot show was 1997, so been in the industry for 26, 27 years, started doing marketing, promotions, sales stuff, some marketing and sales consulting, and I was also doing a lot of promotion through charity events. So I was running charity events and I would go to shot show to meet with potential sponsors, potential people who wanted to get involved in these events to raise money for different charities and mostly around the Mid-Atlantic and the southeast. And that at the same time, I was working in the private security business, doing law enforcement as a reserve deputy, ended up going into law enforcement full time in the late 90s. And honestly, public sector stuff and me just don’t take too much bureaucracy, too much admin. And after a few years, I ended up leaving full time law enforcement in 2001, and by then I had been teaching a lot more inside of law enforcement, inside of the executive protection world and teaching private sector. And I really enjoyed that. That was really my passion. So I left full time law enforcement in the summer of 2001 to become an instructor. Not really sure how I was going to make that business thing work. And then of course, nine over 11 happened and the entire landscape of private sector training changed dramatically and the business was off and running pretty quick, did a lot of cool things in that space for a long time, and ended up becoming again like a consultant, marketing, promotion, sales.

Rob: I’m an educator, did TV shows, books, a lot of training DVDs. Um, started a streaming educational service called Personal Defense Network, and all of it involved a lot of working, obviously, with gun companies and product companies, accessory companies, not just to help them move their wares, but also to help them make their wares better for our students. As I started writing curriculum and certifying other instructors, working with major organizations like Usca and others that use my curriculum, more and more access to students means more and more feedback for people who design products. And of course, eventually that led to me wanting to design my own products and including up to and including a firearm. And in 2023, we started shipping the first visited arms PD10 nine millimeter, single stack, very thin gun informed by a couple of decades on ranges about how people’s hands and guns interact and what I think will serve people well as a defensive carry gun. And now we’re expanding from that gun into other things with Avidity Arms as well. And I think I’ve done almost every hat you can wear in the industry. Uh, one way or another over that 27 years.

Wade: So in 2023 was the first time that you started to manufacture a product in terms of a firearm, right? Yeah.

Rob: So I’ve been a consultant. I’ve got the that cool NRA award up there for some work I did helping bring another firearm to market here in the US, a lot of other products. I’ve done a few of my own products. In fact, the PD10 wears some sights that I designed with a merry glow over a decade ago, and we have sig style cuts on our slides. So the Amerigo the Claw sight, which is an emergency manipulation concave front surface blacked out, really wide rear notch paired up with their Loomis Square. This one happens to be tritium. The ones we ship with the PD10 are a tritium insert on the front sight. So like those sights are a product that I developed said ten, 12 years ago. Now they’re on my gun. But this is the first time I’ve brought a firearm to market and Avidity Arms. While it’s been an idea and we’ve been shooting prototypes now for almost a decade, that that idea of Avidity Arms bringing something to markets been around. We’re only about 14 months into shipping guns.

Wade: Yeah. No. That’s amazing. And the reason why I ask is because I love to geek out on manufacturing problems. Right. Because people, it’s one of those things where people do not realize the leap it takes to go from, I have an idea in my brain to, oh, here’s an actual physical product that I can legally sell, right? And all those steps that are in between there. So I know that you have done consulting and you’ve been involved in that process, but were there any surprises this time when it was your own process? Right. So it was something where you’re like, oh, I didn’t even think about this, even though you had consulted on it before.

Rob: So many things, like the way I describe it, because I was not in the manufacturing side at all, like I wasn’t really a mechanical guy. Like I didn’t grow up, like helping my dad fix the car in the front yard kind of stuff. Right? My dad was like a call the mechanic kind of guy. So I have learned what I’ve learned about making things and being more mechanically inclined, um, as an adult. But the difference between design and prototyping, what I would throw in there, fabricating. Making something that works, getting some parts from vendors and then making them work together with like dremels and files and lubrication and stuff like that. And then the leap from that kind of stuff. People have been shooting prototypes of the PD10 since 2014. It took us until 2023 to be able to ship a product, and that product has been refined. The processes by which we make the parts, the parts themselves have been refined over the last year and the guns were shipping now are actually, I think, significantly, noticeably smoother and just more user friendly than the guns we were shipping. Even at first. And going from that idea, the area has some sense of from an idea to a product is a big leap. What I was surprised by from a working pre-production prototype to a product in people’s hands and in the stores, that leap is way bigger than I think a lot of people give it credit for.

Wade: Well, and I think the gun community has a lot of strong opinions about things, right? So like if you go to the range and you shoot a gun, you’re going to be like, oh, I like this, or I don’t like that. And so what went into the thought process of making the product? Because I know for you, you probably have like a personal preference. Right? But maybe your personal preference for the firearm doesn’t translate to a larger audience. You know what I mean? So did you balance that? Do you understand? I’m trying to say, did you balance, I think, personal preference with what you think the market’s going to want. Like how did you approach that problem.

Rob: Well I see three things. I see my personal preference like what I want I see what the market wants. And that of course is fickle and finicky and trendy and often kind of misunderstood. I’d like to circle back to that a little bit. And then the where I landed is, what do I think my students need? So who are my students, right? I mean, I obviously I knew we were talking about different the business. Right. Like like books. Right? I’ve written nine books, published nine books, some through publishing companies, some self-published for our instructor team, some through a couple through Usca. I mentioned before they use my curriculum as their Defensive Shooting Fundamentals program. Dvds published over 100 DVDs. We’ve done the TV shows on Outdoor Channel I produce, appeared in whatever guested. So. So I’ve reached a lot of people. But on the range, right? Thousands of people a year. I get to watch their hands on guns, like really closely, right? And coach them through how to achieve the results that they want to achieve, or at least achieve what I think they can in the time we have together, and then give them a path to improve or maintain their skills moving forward. And these are life and death skills. If it’s Navy Seals, Green Berets, cops, moms at home with kids, dads carrying a gun under the hoodie when they’re at the mall with their families, people wanting to protect themselves with guns that they stage in their workplace or their home.

Rob: This is life and death stuff. So it’s stuff that I’ve really taken pretty seriously and I get passionate about. Right? So I’d say like, this is what I think you should do. And maybe the person next to him on the range, you should do this. So it’s one of those a way, the way things. My job as an educator is to give somebody the way I think they should do it, and it may not be what I am going to do. It may not be what the person next to them is going to do. Some cop’s going to do, a military guy is going to do it. That person. Here’s what I think you’re paying me to tell you. Here’s what I think. So I have the same opinions and there’s strong opinions you mentioned about the guns and for years it’d be like, here’s 3 or 4 brands. This range of models find the one that fits your hand the best and that appeals to you aesthetically. And go with that. Because I’ve seen at this point thousands. There’s a few guns I’ve seen for over a decade, right. Like the XD series, the MMP series, obviously the Glock mid-size series.

Rob: There’s other guns that are newer designs or I haven’t seen as many of them, like the Canik guns, right? Canik guns have only been around for a few years, but they run great. We see them in students hands. So I can say to people like these, here’s these 4 or 5 different brands, here’s the range of guns. Find the one that fits your hand the best. And that’s really the key is a gun has to fit a person’s hand or you’re fighting the anatomy and mechanics coming together. So what I wanted to do with the PD10 was design a gun that was going to fit as many hands as possible right out of the gate. So take people who actually carry guns, who are actually going to practice and train, try to fit as many hands as possible, and it creates a unique, I think, truly unique on the market set of dimensions. So the gun looking at it from this perspective, it’s a mid-size gun, right? It’s like a Glock 19 ish kind of size gun. But from this perspective, it’s more like you can see in front of my shirt a little bit better. It’s more Glock 43 ish. It’s a significantly thinner than like a Hellcat or a 365 or even a Glock 48, and we built it around a metal magazine.

Rob: And so because it was built around a metal magazine, we end up with a gun. It’s very thin. And the contouring up around the top of the grip going around the trigger, that thinness and the contouring mean that people with short fingers, short thumbs, or just generally small hands can fit on this gun and control it and get a proper good fit. The back of the gun up high. You can see we’re deep undercut and really get a comfortable feeling on the gun. But the width from here, this width from front to back. Depending on where you measure, it is more of a full size, a standard size. This is not thin. It’s not a broomstick kind of gun. It’s not a subcompact stagger stack kind of squarish gun. It’s a gun that has a really nice curvature to get the hand deep up where the recoil, where the energy is coming back. Small hands, short fingers can can actuate all the levers and buttons, the slide stop, the mag release and the trigger. But a large hand or long fingers don’t get lost on the gun like you see with a lot of the really small guns. And it’s very rare in the market that you see a very thin gun that isn’t also generally very small.

Rob: So I say this is a mid-size gun that allows you to get a good full grip, and it appeals to a lot of people when they put it in their hands and it shoots really well for them. So it’s a very shootable gun, fits a lot of hands. And obviously the slimness of 0.9in wide slide again, like 20% slimmer than some of the stagger stack subcompacts that are out there. Rmr type well MSI type cut 407 507 K, so it cut for red dot. The red dot cut actually integrates with these sights. You don’t need to get suppressor height sights things like that. So I wanted to fit as many hands as possible, be as suitable and curable as possible, but also be fully featured right, but not cost $1,000. So those were my parameters, right? Not necessarily like I do carry one of these. Obviously I didn’t want to build a gun I wouldn’t want to carry. But it wasn’t just what does Robb want? And it also certainly wasn’t. What does the market want? Uh, because as I said, I think that can be really finicky. And it can also, the hype of what the market wants doesn’t always reflect the the wholesalers reports of what’s actually in stores and what’s actually selling. Right.

Wade: Well, and you have a danger in firearms too, whereas you can get two Nichi like so like we get in these conversations sometimes with my co-host who I talk to with sometimes John, I like to make fun of him, but he doesn’t really like the 1911, but he secretly does. But he won’t say it. So there’s a very like deep subculture for that gun. But it’s you can’t really build a business on that gun, you know what I’m saying? I mean, like, I guess you could say.

Rob: That’s that and you’re hitting the nail right on the head. And this is what I think when I say the hype of what’s trendy, right? Or what people want, is not really reflected in the sales numbers. I mean, people tell me all the time, Rob, why would you come to market with a single stack gun in 2024? It’s all about stagger stacks now. People want higher capacity and we get it. You design the gun like eight years ago, but eight years ago there wasn’t even a Glock 48. Glock 48 came out and they stole the thunder on a single stack, ten round. And now you’ve missed the boat. It’s like, well, I see a lot of kimber’s in your display, sir. You know, like, there’s a lot of single gun still being sold. The most popular gun in Q1 of 2024. Most popular semi-automatic handgun is the Glock 43 X. It’s a ten round gun with a shorter barrel that makes it harder to shoot fast than this is. And it’s wider than this is. And it’s the most popular out there. And yet, the number one pushback I get when we try to get this into a store right now from a business side is, yeah, everybody wants stagger stacks.

Rob: And I get it, the shield magazines are awesome. They take that Glock 48 frame and the 43 X is really the 48 frame. And they make it a 15 round gun. But Glock selling a heck of a lot of them with ten round plastic mags wider than the gun really needs to be. And that sort of flies in the face of what the top line is. When people say what’s trending right now? I mean, bolt action guns are out. Selling lever action guns in Q1 of 2024 are outselling bolt action guns because so many of those got brought to the market at shot show. So I think it’s when you start getting into the business details, what’s trendy and being talked about a lot on the internet may not actually be what’s selling. That doesn’t necessarily make it easier to sell something that’s off trend, but I think it’s an important warning to people getting into the business. Don’t just chase what people are talking about on the internet, because by the time you actually get it to market, they’re probably gonna be talking about something else. And that probably doesn’t have any bearing on the long term success of your company anyway.

Wade: Well, and I think that’s a really good point. And I try to draw people’s attention to this. So I write in the firearms industry. Right. So I go straight for different people in the vertical. And I can tell people it’s like I look at the internet searches, right. So like I know what the large volume of internet searches are, the questions that need that people are asking and their top of the funnel, entry level questions for normal human beings. Right. Like if you start to get in these, like these real niche conversations about your normal person has no clue what a double stack versus a single stack is. They’re like, I don’t want anyone to know that I have a gun. Okay? So like, great, give me my second mag. That’s my backup mag. Let’s put 15 rounds, seven, 16 or whatever. But give me a big 30 round drum on my belt. I don’t give a shit, right? Like like let me have a lot on the second one, but I want to have a concealed, give me a single stack and then it’s concealed and then I’ll work. If I need more bullets, I’ll just go get it. And they may not like your operator. People are like normal entry level people are just going concealed. Don’t care about that. Their biggest one of their biggest concerns is how do I conceal the guns that no one knows that I’m carrying it? And I think so. I do think there is a huge market for what you’re talking about. And I think your analysis of how are the most amount of people that are going to be able to hold this gun. I think that’s really I didn’t know you had designed the gun that way. And I think that’s actually kind of genius because. Six, four and a half and I’ve got big hands. But I could give that gun to my wife. And the way that it’s designed, we could both use the same gun. Right? I think.

Rob: That’s huge. And as a small company, I need, like, if 4000 people a year get it, I’m not trying to sell 40,000 a month like some companies are, right? I’m not trying to sell even 40,000 in a year so my company can grow. Maybe we’ll be doing that in a decade. But right now I need the the, the instructors. Obviously, I’ve got this great network of instructors who understand the programs that I’ve taught and the programs that they now teach. This gun is obviously aligned with the way we teach people to shoot and what we recommend for gear. Um, so we’re getting a lot of traction in kind of one of those small niches, the niches of people that I think, um, really understand, as you said, like the practical need to carry a gun comfortably enough and conveniently enough to be prepared for this worst case scenario, but not necessarily the guy who’s going to cosplay his way through a different training class every month with gear that he’ll never actually wear in public or use ever. But he’s developing skills. Not that he’s not doing defensive shooting classes, but he’s doing it with plate carriers and stuff. And that’s just really not our audience for our training or for the Avidity Arms pistol.

Wade: Well, and the thing is, is for concealed carry, for example, if it’s not comfortable and you feel at all uneasy about it in any way, you’re not going to carry it. And so it defeats the whole purpose. And so if you can have a gun that is that you feel comfortable in concealing, that’s step one of concealed carry. And I think what’s great about with your gun is that that really does meet that need. And I think also too is you might have people so you have your entry level people who are you’re teaching them on the range. They’re learning about the gun. They’re like, okay, I feel comfortable still carrying this, but then you’re going to have your guys who shoot every type of gun that are going to fall and say, hey, I like this gun for its just is a good fit or for whatever. So you get the best of both worlds that way. Did you say like the the most hands? And then there’ll be the set of these unintended benefits that I’ll discover down the road. Not worry about it.

Rob: Yeah. It very much was focused on fitting the most hands being the right balance of shootable and carry able. And then obviously the reliability is a given. Right. If I’m going to bring a defensive gun to market it has to be reliable. So those were the original design points go back eight years ago. I just don’t think the market was there where optic cuts were incredibly important on the to come to market with. Nor was I recommending people entertain the idea of putting a red dot on their gun, because back then you were like doubling the cost of the gun to put a decent red dot on a pistol. And I think there’s a very narrow window where that really helps someone in a defensive shooting situation. Now you fast forward coming to market in 2023 without an optic cut. At least an optic cut version is silly because now the market A expects it, a large portion of the market expects it, and b there are some very affordable red dot optics out there that you can get for $200 or less that you should be perfectly comfortable with in terms of having on your defensive gun. If you’ve made the choice to have a red dot, so then it becomes, okay. If we’re going to have an optic cut, I need it to. I don’t want somebody to have to buy the optic and buy the sights. So I need to get this to integrate with the sights that we’re already putting on there. Because one of the reasons we picked that set of sights is we don’t want to sell a gun where people are going to have to immediately spend 50 or $100 to upgrade their sights. Like, I.

Wade: Wonder what industry leader you’re talking about. My guns.

Rob: So it’s like I carried a 48 with shield mags up until the time that this gun was ready for production, and when this gun became ready for production and we had the insurance and all the stuff in place, obviously I switched over to this gun. But, you know, nothing wrong with those guns. But you have to know that there’s flaws. Well, I’ll give you an example. Like here’s one of the things that incredibly frustrating as an educator guy in this space and someone with personal defense network, where we’re trying to help people market good quality products to people when a major gun company, almost all of them, markets a gun as a defensive carry gun, the newest, latest, greatest model, and they bring it to market with zero holster support. And it happens far too often. If you know the industry, you know this is a thing that happens if new guns out, nobody’s got a holster for it. And it’s like, why? Like you have these people’s phone numbers. They’re making holsters for 17, 18, 29 other guns you make, like, why aren’t you talking to the holster companies so that a guy like me doesn’t have to deal with the person shows up with the newest, greatest gun and they’re taking it seriously. They want to get training with it, but they’re in like an Uncle Mike’s number four because they can’t find a decent holster for it out there. And it’s and it’s, oh, in a few months they’ll be out. So one of the things I’m really proud of is when we launched, when we actually were at shot show saying retailers could order the gun two weeks before we started shipping the gun, you could go to G code and get one of two different models.

Rob: You could now they have the paradigm holster also fits the PD10 tac rig. I’ve got one of the tac rigs up here. Um, behind me, I think kind of tucked in right there. Tac rig had their shell, which goes on to a whole bunch of different outside the waistband. Inside the waistband configuration, Jm4 tactical leather wrapped kydex holsters, and of course, crossbreed Cold War concealment moms who carry sire. Armory that we’ve had. So many holster companies are on board now, but we launched with three legit holster companies that were ready to ship guns when we were ready to ship holsters, and we were ready with five different models. And I think that’s the kind of thing that to me, that’s just low hanging fruit, that this business, this industry needs to do better. Um, quality sites. Great. I get the I believe me, I understand the idea that I could ship it for $10 more profit if I put plastic sights on it, and then I could sell these sights for 40 bucks and net $50 on the website. But to me, I’d much rather sell a gun that has quality sights. Will take an optic where you can use these sights and make sure you have holsters, that you can wear this gun comfortably and feel confident with it as a defensive tool.

Wade: This episode is brought to you by Every few years, it seems large banks and national credit card processors suddenly decide that they no longer want to process payments for firearms and firearms related businesses, and so they drop these businesses with almost no notice, freezing tens of thousands of dollars in payments for months on end. If you want to ensure your partner with a payments provider that is dedicated to supporting the firearms industry, or you just want to find out if you could be paying less for your ACH, debit and credit card processing, visit Again, that’s I think that’s great because I think and I have this conversation a lot, where, yes, you have a passion for something. Yes. It’s great that you did this right. But the business of firearms is different than the passion of firearms, which is different from the teaching of firearms. Right. And so you have to be able to be successful, to be able to integrate all three of those things, because a lot of people don’t really want to put like, like a lot of your beginners need to learn on old timey battleship iron sights, right? Like like basically. And so I didn’t even put an optic on my gun on my everyday carry gun for like two years. I just shot iron sights for like two years because I was like, I got to make sure I know how to do these before I do anything else. And then, like you said, and then I made sure it was co-witness because what if your sights break or whatever? And so I think that’s really smart. Now did you do you think that you developed that perspective over time in your business because of all the consulting that you did? Or do you in terms of in the firearms industry, or did you think that philosophy comes from more of a pure business side somewhere? Oh no.

Rob: I everyone that I work with will assure you I have no pure business side whatsoever. It’s it is really you talk about like the passion and the business are different. But for me, the, the way I run my businesses, it really has to always come back to that foundation of the training company. The training company is there to educate people, and there are people like there are people who’s at the extremes, right? If you look at the bell curve, there’s going to be people on either end who this gun isn’t going to work for. Did I aim for the biggest piece of the pie? Yeah. Why? Because I wanted to be able to serve the biggest piece of the pie of, again, the built in kind of customer audience, the students. Right. The people that are actually showing up at the range with me and my guys. Anyway. So there’s a business savvy to how do you do that? But I think for me anyway, it has to be grounded in the passion and the interest. And when I first sat down, actually, my partner who owns the manufacturing facility that I partnered with here in North Carolina, one of our early meetings, we sat down with some of his team, and we were talking about kind of the next things we would do after the PD10 was on the market, and there were 5 or 6 things on the table, and it was which one would make the most sense.

Rob: I had to understand manufacturing better. I had to understand more what’s going on, because on the other side of that door is our factory floor. I have to understand what’s going on out there. More to know where the profit margin, the R&D, the how much can we reuse of what we’ve learned making the PD10. And they also need to understand that just because it’s the highest profit margin doesn’t necessarily mean it’s where we want to go. There has to be a defensive aspect, I think, to all of our products, at least at this stage. And the other thing is that there has to be like a fun factor. I call it, like I have to actually want to do it, because otherwise it’s going to be one of the other ten businesses that that I’m involved in or own or, you know, or mine or I run that are going to get my attention that day. There’s got to be a fun factor that are like, we’re coming out with an AR style firearm. Was one of them up here on the wall behind me. Um, really good example of that. We could have launched this company and started generating revenue with a AR style rifle long before we brought the PD10 to market.

Rob: And in this building, they haven’t ever done a firearm like start to finish before, but they had been making uppers and lowers for some other companies. So basically we could just turn that machine on, right. Put that program in the machine, pump out lowers and uppers, mark them with Avidity Arms markings instead of other companies. And we could be selling AR’s. But I was vehemently against it. Like I had no interest in being another AR company. My passion was bringing this gun to market and building a gun that was unique and specific to the design. So after the gun was on the market, revisiting things and saying, okay, well, where else are our low hanging fruit opportunities to generate revenue? The AR came back up in the conversation and I still didn’t want to be an AR company. So what we did was we took an idea that I had played around with through some 3D printing and private gun making stuff, as well as like some Dremel thing. This internally funneled magazine well, started looking around talking to some people that know way more about AR as an AR manufacturing than I do, and nobody had ever done that before.

Rob: So I said, okay, what if we could do an internal funnel around the channel, uh, the back of the magazine to give us a little bit more leeway, a little more forgiveness in the angle at which we can start inserting the magazine and have it funnel in without expanding the external dimensions of the mag well, and in fact, reducing the external dimensions. So that and a lot of people have done this. We relieve some of this area here, whether it’s a window or a relief cut, so that people if you do have a malfunction, it’s easier to get some pressure on that bottom round of a complex double feed situation. So we relieve that left us a lip in the front, which means when the magazines coming to the gun from our belt carrier pocket, wherever it’s coming from, it’s going forward, hits that edge and then rocks up into the gun. So that was interesting. Like, if nobody’s really ever done that before, we can do that. But I still don’t want to be an AR company. So I called my friends over at Nemo and said, if I come to market with this lower, why don’t we collaboration, right? Because you’ve expanded your manufacturing capacity dramatically out there, uh, in Idaho recently. So are you interested in providing the upper for a collaboration Avidity semi-automatic rifle with my internally funneled mag? Well, and they were like, sounds great, let’s do it.

Rob: So actually this week. We’re building and testing and get some boxes over here. The first guns will be shipping out the first Acer’s Avidity semi-automatic rifles as the collaboration with Nemo, um, just this week. So I’m still keeping my passion and my integrity, I guess, of I don’t want to be another, ah, company, but I’m getting to work with Nemo. I’m getting to work with Black Collar with their cool grip, which is a great angle for for a grip, um, much less compromising on the wrist than the A2 style 25 degree and 22 degree grips. Mission first tactical. We’re using their stock and their new translucent mags. Like, I get to work with these great companies and I’m bringing something new and unique to the market under the Avidity brand. So that’s how Avidity is growing right now is are we looking at opportunities to make money? Obviously we have to from a business standpoint, but we’re trying to do it under that passion. And that’s what Avidity is, right? It’s enthusiasm, passion. It’s being avid. It’s interest. It’s it’s uh, it has to be that for me or I’m going to zone out, get bored really quick.

Wade: Well, and that’s your competitive advantage though is because if you take a look one of the larger manufacturers, there is so much inertia for them to be able to bring a product to market on top of the regular challenges that you will have of like, hey, I want to do this right? And that’s why the when you’re like a smaller company, you can take all sorts of chances and some of them work and some of them don’t. But you did it in a way that I always it’s like something I was trying to tell writers, right? Like, everyone wants to write the great American novel. Everyone wants to do that. But start with making money as a service, something that’s like your bread and butter that you know that you can make money on, right? And that do it better than anybody else. And then you can start taking some chances. Right. And that’s basically what you guys did is like I said, okay, so we’ve got this, we got this pistol, we got it. We know it works. We’re shipping it okay. We that verticals handled. Now how do we take that stability and start taking some chances and look for some home runs. Right. Let’s take that single and that double of the pistol and try to take some home run swings. And I think that’s a real competitive advantage for you guys to be able to do that. And I’ll tell.

Rob: You, the project that actually fits into what exactly what you’re talking about, which occurred. We shipped the first batch of these about three weeks ago, a month ago. And that was the 30 super carry version. So the market and the industry have been really slow to adopt or catch on to really what’s happening with 30 Super Carry, maybe because of the timing when they launched and ammo was crazy expensive, and there haven’t been a lot of major companies that have come out with guns for it. We started shipping a 30 super carry version of the PD10 , like I said about three weeks ago. And that’s a chance, right? Everybody in the industry been slow to grow and it might that round might die. It might be another 45 gap. And I’m looking around and people are building five sevens. Every company in the world is making A57. Now that round’s been dead for 20 years and it’s anemic as a civilian round for anything other than just a fun round, a novelty plinking round. And the 30 super carries legit, right? Like I did the ballistics testing. I looked at it really closely and I realized I hadn’t given it enough attention a couple years ago when it was released, and we made a decision last summer to go ahead and bring to market a 30 super carry version of the PD10, which answers some of the questions people have about why only ten plus one? Okay, now we’re 12 plus one if you like 30 super carry, but I got a lot of warnings like, oh, you can’t afford to do that.

Rob: It’s going to do this. It’s going to do that. It’s like, hey man, I’m not suspending nine millimeter production. I’m just running a couple batches of slides and barrels that’ll get me into the 30 super carry market. And so far the response has been great. I think there’s a group of people in the industry and the community that really understand what 30 super carry is. And and they finally now have an option that they think is the gun that will fit them as a defensive gun with that round. So we’re excited about doing more with with 30 super carry. We have our five inch gun coming out the double stack gun. But yeah, I think you’re really spot on with we needed to get our first thing to the market in a very passionate, focused way and then start looking for, okay, how do we take some chances here, make some money here, and maybe we make some money on the chances as well. And that’d be great.

Wade: Well, with the 30 super carry, when you have a new sort of niche, you’re going to have diehards, right. And so if you’re the first person to provide you those die hards, then you lock them in on everything else, right? Because if I for whatever reason, I just love this 30 Super carry. I just love the round. I don’t know why it is. I must have it. Who has it? That person is going to be so happy and they’re going to be an evangelist for you. And I really want people who are listening to your example. Thinking about starting a new business. Is that the passion that you have and the ability to take chances is your biggest advantage over the sigs and the Glocks, because they don’t have to take chances anymore. I carry a Glock so I don’t have a problem. I’m not badmouthing Glock right? Well, now I have to check out your gun because this is why this is an expensive podcast for me is because everyone I have to check out their gun, but they have the what they do. They’re built in and so they’re not nimble. They don’t have to be. But when a new manufacturer comes in like you and you can be super nimble, you can create some really exciting stuff. And I think that is one of your biggest advantages that you have. Do you feel like from a manufacturing side, that capacity is going to become an issue for you with your facility? Or do you were like, no, we can really have the ability to really ramp up, or are you looking to the future in terms of strategizing for that in the future, or is that you’re like, oh, we’ll just handle that later? What is your approach to that?

Rob: That is the strategy essentially. Right. Like we’ll handle it later. I mean, it’s a great problem to have, right? That’s what everybody says. Now, the trick is there’s a balancing act to that, because I’ve also even in the few things we’ve done, we’ve thought we were going to bring it to market or this accessory sooner. We thought we’d be able to ship in February. We ended up not shipping till March. Not terribly big deal, but I’m sure there were a few sales lost in the lack of momentum that was maintained from that initial announcement, and then being able to say, okay, they’re shipping and they’re available. So we have to be careful about overpromising and under-delivering. But like I said, go back to the idea. If we had 4000 people wanting to buy PD10 this year, we can handle that. That’s probably near where we can handle. Because if one company, if one distributor showed up and said we need 5000 guns tomorrow, we’re not the guy, we’re not going to we’re not providing that. If some third World military decided they wanted the PD10 to be their sidearm, but they need 5000 of them in June, not going to happen. We might be able to get you 500 and we can ramp up. And that’s the trick, right? Is like ramping up.

Rob: And you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to do this because I think it’s a work is important for people to know that. It’s not like Rob building these in his, you know, basement. Right. Like, right. There’s there’s a lot of machinery out here. There’s a lot of stuff going on. So there’s a lot of room to scale as we expand. And not all of it is PD10 stuff right now, but there’s a lot of room just in this building to expand. And we do I would say 90% of the metal part, they are either manufactured here in this building or they’re refined here, just being like we order the magazine tubes from a popular company that makes magazine tubes for a lot of people. But we change the geometry and we make the follower, and we make the baseplate, the frame and the locking plate under the base plate. The base plate itself is injection molded, as is the frame. And that’s done by another OEM supplier to a lot of major companies in the industry. Some of the biggest household names use the same guys up in New York to do their injection molding. So we don’t do the injection molding here and we don’t do the coatings here. So our nitride coating or the anodizing on the aluminum parts that’s done outside of the building, some of the pins and springs we buy outside of the building.

Rob: But almost all of the metal work, the machining, the stamping, the EDM wire, we’ve got a seven axis machine that does the slides, the barrels, we get barrel blanks brought in, but then we cut them down, turn them down and put the chambers in. So we’re doing almost all of the work here. Assembly and testing happens here. And I think that’s important too. I know that there is a niche of our market who will buy that gun because it’s made in America, because it’s a small company, because it’s all done in one building. No MIM parts. Nothing comes over in a container. There’s not a European company behind the name comma USA that relocated here. So we really are doing that because it’s the right thing to do, and it’s because that’s how I want to do it. But I know that’s also a marketing piece that that people like to hear about, that it would have been maybe easier and the gun would be cheaper in some ways if we had gone to MIM parts or outsourced some of this stuff from overseas. But it isn’t what we wanted to do.

Wade: Well, and I think there are some big players in the space that prove that you can manufacture in the United States and make it work.

Rob: Yeah, I look at Daniel Defense like I remember I used to write for the magazines in the 90s and stuff like that too. And I remember meeting Marty Daniel when he had a handguard that was like how he showed up and I was with Swat magazine and the where he’s taking that company. And I remember I was down at the I used to do a lot of work with him through Personal Defense Network, also with their guns and being in their building that they stood up in Georgia when they had first opened it. And seeing that they really were doing like everything. That’s one of the things with AR is, well, everybody’s buying stuff from that company or everybody’s buying parts, everybody else, and you’re just slapping your name on the lower. We’re making our own billet lowers here and marking them in the building. We’re not on a variance and we’re building the guns here. But as I said earlier, I’m proud of I like the fact that we’re using other companies, and we’re not just trying to be, you know, another AR company doing it all ourselves. Most companies that are doing it all themselves really aren’t. They’re buying parts off the shelf all over the place. Daniel Defense is one that isn’t. They’re making parts. They’re selling parts to other people that do stuff. So I really when I look at what Marty’s done with his company in terms of scaling and growth, and Nemo was outsourcing most of their stuff until maybe six, seven, eight years ago. And now they have this incredible facility out in Idaho that they’ve built where they’re ready to sell us parts to build our guns, because they’re building so much for themselves, and they’re capable of so much. So I’ve watched a lot of companies here in the US scale and reach capacity. That meant they could actually help other startups and help other people bring guns to market. And that would definitely be in in the Avidity arms long term goal is that we can be helping other companies as well.

Wade: Well, and I think you’re they all did the same thing. You’re talking like Daniel Defense right. Where they started with one thing. They said, okay, we’re going to do this one thing. And just because people need this, we’re going to fill this void in the market. We’re going to treat our people right, and we’re not going to skimp on whatever, and we’re going to see where it takes us. I do believe in the market will reward them. If you make enough of those right choices along the way, you will keep growing and you will keep growing your customer base. And I think that’s a super smart business approach because you’re looking at your customer base as a lifelong customer. Versus a transactional difference.

Rob: Yeah for sure. In fact, our first release of The Rifles are we let people who already owned PD10, uh, put down a small deposit and reserve a serial number matched ASR. So that’s our first batch. The first ones, it’ll ship hopefully the end of this week, maybe next week will be to those customers who were already customers of ours and are now saying, okay, we’ll follow you in your adventure with semi-automatic rifles as well. Yeah.

Wade: That’s so exciting. I mean, and I love the fact that you can just pick up the camera and go, here’s the menu right next to you. I live next to manufacturing because people don’t understand when you manufacture something like the fires, sometimes literal fires, but most of the time, just like metaphorical, like it is a process that needs constant attention for it to work properly and for there to be a consistency in the manufacturing process is not an easy thing to do. And so that’s amazing that you guys are doing that. So we’re butting up against our time. I definitely want to have you on the show again. We’re going to have to check out your gun now, because this is what happens when I talk to someone about their guns. How do people find you? And if they want to check out the gun and also check out the new rifle. How do people find you?

Rob: is obviously where you’re going to find out all the stuff about the guns. Instagram accounts pretty active for Avidity arms. Our Facebook has been restricted fighting with them right now about getting the Facebook back up. But Rob Pincus. Pincus like I said, I’ve been in the industry so long. I mean, you know, where the internet is, you can find it and find me. And whether it’s the training company or personal defense network, any of the other things I’m involved in, eventually it will filter you back to the gun. The books are out there. Personal Defense Network, we really just mentioned in passing. That’s probably what most people would consider my core business and personal events. we’ve got over a thousand pieces of free content, and then there’s a paywall with the rest of the content. If people are interested in some of the more advanced stuff. But everything arm defense and personal defense, medical stuff, preparing for weather, extremities, extremes, things like that, and we bring in other experts. Not all. Rob, we’ve got a team of probably over 60 this year. We’ll break the number of 60 contributors to personal events and really proud of that as well. So all over the internet, and I definitely would love to come back on the show and maybe update you about which one of these ideas took off and was the big home run, and which ones were just fun to have done. But we might not be doing them all forever. No.

Wade: Yeah, I’d love to have you back on the show, because I think it’s so valuable because there are people that are going to be in different stages of their own businesses, just like you. Right then. Some people now are in that testing phase and that thinking phase. And I think or some people are that starting phase so that they can see you going through these and kind of the growth and some things work and some things don’t. I think that’s so encouraging. So definitely want to have you on the show again. Robin, thank you so much for coming on today.

Rob: I appreciate it, Wade. Thanks.

Wade: You’ve been listening to the Tactical Business Show by Join us again next episode as we explore what it takes to be a business success in the firearms industry.