Rifle Revolution: Crafting Firearms Excellence with Keith Berry of Optimum 51Fifty

About This Episode

In today’s episode of Tactical Business, host Wade Skalsky sits down with Keith Berry owner of Optimum 51Fifty. In this captivating interview, Keith shares how his diverse background in printing, finance, and his passion for firearms led him to create innovative rifle platforms. With a commitment to American-made quality and rigorous testing, Keith and his team are revolutionizing the industry. Watch this episode for a fun and interesting dive into this latest development in the firearms industry.

Insights In This Episode

  • They designed their own weapon based on the AR platform, incorporating real-world input from users.
  • They focused on improving accuracy and functionality, addressing the shortcomings of existing platforms.
  • Keith’s background in the printing industry helped with the creative side of designing themed rifles.
  • They tested their rifles with military personnel, who praised their smooth operation and accuracy.
  • They emphasize controlling energy and maintaining tight tolerances to enhance performance and accuracy.

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’m your host, Wade Skalsky, and today I am greeted by Keith Berry. Keith, you are on the show today. How are you doing, sir?

Keith: Good sir, how are you?

Wade: I’m like a 7.25, but I’m trending in the right direction. It is unseasonably warm here in Virginia Beach, so I don’t know if that’s what you’re experiencing right now. What part of the country are you in?

Keith: I am standing right now in Idlewild, Massachusetts. So it’s cold up there. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’re, uh, today’s the first day that we’ve gotten above freezing in over a week.

Wade: I don’t miss that weather. I went to law school in D.C., and I grew up in North Dakota. So the nice thing about VB is that our seasons are are temperate. So we get a little bit of cold and everybody freaks out, and then it warms up immediately.

Keith: Yeah, I moved here from Texas a year ago and I miss Texas weather.

Wade: Well, there’s a lot of stuff going on right now in Texas. Glad you’re not there with the shenanigans over there.

Keith: Yeah, the shenanigans seem to be spreading like cancer throughout the country anyways.

Wade: Yeah, I agree, and that’s why what we’re going to talk about today is so important. So, uh, for those in the audience that aren’t aware of you or what you do or your business, why don’t you give us a brief background of what you did before and how you got to where you are now?

Keith: So I’m a third generation printer, uh, born into a family of printers I ran in that industry for I was 28 years old from birth, and, uh, became allergic to all the chemistry and everything years. But from there, 20 after that, 20 years managing finance departments and auto dealers at five different states and a firearm guy shooting. My dad started shooting at four, hunting at 11, and just been guns ever since, and got into designing them initially, uh, to do a gun. My father, uh, just a thank you for his service in Vietnam and everything else. And that led to my wife and I going down the path of designing rifles for charity. And in doing so, talking to your veterans and law enforcement people that you’re building guns for, finding out their frustrations or what they think the shortcomings were on platforms they have used to protect all of us. And that led to us designing the platform with our business partner, who was all parts. David Moore met him in 2018, and he also wanted to do the charity stuff with us, and it just was meant to be. We just forged ahead and now we have an international slash military division. Huzzah, huzzah! We launched a site yet, but that is strictly law enforcement and military, both domestic and international.

Wade: Do you find that from a manufacturing perspective, that your time in the auto parts industry and what you were doing in the press industry, those things came together to help you with what you were doing? Or is it something that was a skill that you had to develop? How did that work? Uh, the.

Keith: Printing industry definitely helped me with the creative side. When we’re doing the themed rifles or even, uh, I’ve worked on cars and everything my whole life. So the mechanical aspect of it, it’s always been something the way my brain works. The car side running part, the finance department, the partnerships. That’s not really other than you’ve got to be quick on your feet. And when you’re dealing with angry or upset people or naysayers or people, you’re supposed to understand there’s a lot of people that no matter what you do, they’re going to talk trash. They’re going to put it down, and they’re going to do whatever you do and have that thick skin. And that’s one thing you’ve learned. The car business is happening. Very thick skin.

Wade: Yeah. You’re either for like a truck, right. You’re either a Ford guy or a Chevy guy or put everybody or some foreign car. That same kind of thinking translates to guns. So what made you decide to settle on the rifle platform? Right? Like why not handguns? What was the reason why you started there?

Keith: We will be expanding into the. We settled on the the R four platform because it seemed to have honest shortcomings. It’s also a rifle. It’s Eugene Stoner created in 1956. Let’s face it, it was 1956. And while some companies claim that they are innovated or done something, a lot of times it’s very superficial, repatterning or different flair on the mat. Well, they haven’t done anything to actually improve the accuracy or functionality of the gut. And we started out that process on the retail side. Our guts evolve. On the military side, it’s enhanced, but either way, it’s everything we do on the platform is based on real world input from law enforcement, military people, the people using the weapons. So that’s how we went about it. Instead of just going, oh, this would be cool. And we wanted to design our own weapon from the ground up, well, obviously based on that platform. But a lot of people out there, shooters don’t understand that if it’s a forged AR, it probably comes from one of four places. I don’t care if there’s maintenance on the side of it. Some of the biggest names in the industry that are touted as being, oh, they’re the best gun. They don’t even make their own guns.

Wade: Right. Do you find that similar in terms of from the car industry, where you’ll have just different marketing, but it’s the same car effectively with maybe a little bit extra kind of of the surface thing. Is that kind of what you’re talking about from that perspective?

Keith: Yeah, like a Chevy GMC Cadillac. I’m trying not to talk about any brands. I don’t want to put anybody down.

Wade: Yeah. That’s not yeah. Just talk. Yeah. Let’s talk.

Keith: There’s, uh people that. I know your gun is too expensive. I buy for an hour’s rate. That’s what works for you and your family. Go buy $400. Ah, the market gets you to buy that stuff too. Because if you don’t buy a $400 AR, you’re not going to appreciate all the engineering and time and componentry that is in AR that make it a better weapon. If you step right into our gut, you’re not going to understand person’s first cars, or Ferrari is going to think all cars drive like a Ferrari.

Wade: So that’s always been my approach in terms of for optics. So when I started shooting, I was like, I’m going to get really good at whatever gun I have. I don’t care what the platform is, if it’s a handgun or if it’s an AR or if it’s a shotgun, it’s the first thing I’m going to do is I’m going to become as good as I can on Ironsights. And then once I’m master, in terms of, for me at least, and functional for me, I’m functional, I have the muscle memory. Then I’ll start to start to go in the optics. Right. Because I think I agree with you. You can’t appreciate, like you said, if you come in right at the top, that’s it.

Keith: But why and why my gun. That’s right. Nothing but 400, 800. They immediately feel and see the difference. And that’s before they pull the trigger.

Wade: Yeah. So you guys have been in business for a few years. Has the time from when you started the the design process, is that relatively about the same from like you have an idea to implementation to then putting it into retail or is that kind of that time frame compressed? Walk me through your guys’s process about how you’re going to decide, okay, we’re going to make this change or we’re going to we’re going to design this or whatever.

Keith: So changes come up frequently. They’ll either be something my partner will just be like, hey, I think we should do this, or how would this work? And we’ll literally machine one and just waste metal. And if it works, it’s not a waste of metal. But if it doesn’t, we just wasted a lot of time and metal. But the process, the idea for our patented system on our platform that eliminated the takedown pin say I was inspired honestly by the camshaft of an engine on that. And when I explained to him, hey, this is what I see and how I see it working, he’s like, oh, wait a minute, okay, I got this, I understand. And it just went from there and we’re we made the first one. The first actually the first. Dennis this was our actual that’s our test model. That’s serial number one. But we tested it before we ran it over with our so on, so forth. We found sort of things we felt were shortcomings. So we changed it and then we tortured it. And then we had to give him a free gun and then beat him up and then address shortcomings in wiring what we viewed as shortcomings. Other people have said things and addressed it. We’re the fourth generation of our handguard, the fourth, third, fourth generation of our cam to get to where we are now going. Yep, that’s exactly what we were shooting for the whole time. We’re not afraid to admit we make mistakes so that we do improve.

Wade: My experience in talking with businesses that are not like giant, like not saying that you’re small, right, but you’re not some giant business. Is that the advantage that you have is the ability to just have an idea and then go iterate on it, right? You’re like, okay, let’s just go try this out now. Nine times out of ten it’s not going to work. But you’re so much more nimble than some of the larger businesses that do the same thing. And then secondarily, you’re so much more connected with your customer base, right? Because you basically get that feedback from them. Have you found that’s been a big advantage for you guys?

Keith: I think so we just did a military test down in North Carolina. Skies were former rangers, but there were some Delta guys, Marsoc guys, all sorts of special teams guys there and literally voted up a mag, handed them a rifle and said, bring it, tell me what you think. You handed her either current or former military guys saying, here’s a new weapon system we never used. Try and break it and their face lights up. That’s what they want to do. And they came back like, can’t break it. The only thing I had, one thing that was something we were already going to do anyways, we don’t have brass deflectors are done. We’re adding a brass deflector, but we’d already planned on doing that. Other than that, they’re like, I couldn’t find it. They liked the weight. They liked the way it handled. They loved the way it ran, sold us. It was the smoothest running. These are military guys who shot every weapon system all over the world. And they said our full auto was the smoothest running, full auto M4 they’d ever had anywhere on the planet. And there’s no muzzle rise because of how we design our gut. Were you a.

Wade: Little nervous when you handed it over to them? I know, I know, you know your gun, but that is a tough crowd. You cannot spit and not hit someone that’s in some form of special forces here in Virginia Beach, right?

Keith: I look forward to those challenges. There’s a I like to call I call a friend. I don’t know, John would say that, but I think she would be friends with John Tydeman, one of the five Benghazi warriors. And he has one of our guns. And when we gave him his gun, I said, great, good job. He goes, I said, you can’t break this, John. He goes, no, what you just said to a marine. I said, yeah, hold my beer. Watch this. He hasn’t been able to break it yet.

Wade: Yeah. No. And I think do you think that part of the reason is because your approach with the takedown pin, like, is that because it has less things to break. Right. So it’s like in the terms of the design, is that what you’re.

Keith: Thinking about how the system works. So here’s a traditional upper uses a takedown pins. Well you got a hole and you got all this motion going back and forth. Well these holes it’s going to oblong out because you got pins pushed through these holes. So. All along. It’s going to start to do this. Where is our system uses opposing lugs. And so when you’re hooking it here and rolling it back, the cam system rolls down and presses forward. So it’s actually pulling down and compressing to hold the motion to better control your energy. So in that product is less felt recoil, less muzzle rise, but also because of how much larger the contact area is and how it contacts versus the takedown pin. You don’t have the issue. We have a gun that we had 5 or 6000 rounds through without a single failure. That was actually my demo gun, never cleaned it. We wiped the bolt off once and literally just sat loose on the back seat of my Ford Excursion, and that was it. I just let it sit there. Someone won’t run it. Handed them a bag. Here’s the gun. Go pick it up. We run it over twice by £6,000 truck intentionally, just because we wanted to show people we’re not afraid to try and break these things. I’ve had a couple three gun horses. Those guys are known for breaking things. And in fact, this is actually one of our three gun rifles right here. Still runs no issues. Yeah.

Wade: So obviously there’s a durability advantage. And I think you started to talk about it a little bit. And again I’m a total novice when it comes to the engineering side of things. Right. Like my mom said, go be a doctor or a lawyer. And I don’t like math and science. So that’s why I went to become a lawyer and my past life. Right. So I understand the durability side from what you explained to me, but walk me through a little bit more about in terms of recoil and accuracy, why that design is different and better than a more traditional design.

Keith: Okay, so I’ll use my my previous life as a car industry. You’re driving your car, your front end. Is this how well does it perform? How well does it drive? What does it do to your mileage and stability or to hold a straight line? Same is different when you’re talking about controlling energy. Traveling back and forth. We’ve changed the tolerances not only from the receiver set to each other, but also tolerances to the bolt carrier group. Because of that, we are properly controlling the energy and it is going only in the direction we want it to go in. He also then to make the gun more reliable, less prone to jams or feed issues, eliminated the dual feed ramp system with our barrel manufacturers. So it’s actually a single feed ramp. So that little divider in the middle of the feed ramp on your traditional AR that’s gone so that the round can’t jam into that cause this, it’s all little details that add up at the end of the day, when you have a gun that has no movement between your upper and lower, like your traditional AR, where it can move and shake and everything else, well, now you’re changing how the energy is going through the gut. That’s why 1911, I’m sure you’re familiar with the 1911 pistol, the most accurate pistols out there. Why, they are the tightest tolerance pistol out there, right? Well, everything you have tighter tolerances and you control the energy properly. You have better recoil management, much flatter and more accurate.

Wade: Well, what I like about that too, is that you’re actually, you know, in terms of what you guys are doing, you’re focusing on. And again, I’m not going to say anyone’s specific, but there are people who are out there who who just try to make the gun more Gucci. You know what I mean? They’re like, we’re going to Gucci the gun and then people will buy it, right? And I’m more of a utilitarian guy where it’s like, I don’t really care about that. I just want it to work.

Keith: Right? Yeah.

Wade: And and you said you guys are gonna have a pistol line, like, what is now? Are you taking the same approach towards the your upcoming pistol line? Like, do you have any thoughts on that? Is it actually in production?

Keith: We’re still working on concept and ensuring it’ll be. The initial plan is to do a single end double stack. So 1911 and 2011 base pistols. Yes. We’re as far as controlling the energy as far as tolerances and all that very much. That’s our thing. Just that’s right up there with the fact that we require everything to be 100% American made. Our metals have to be American, the screws spring, everything in our weapons has to be 100% American, made for our platforms.

Wade: So. And are you and I want to come back to the pistol thing in a second, but I don’t want to forget this. So like, you do everything in house, right? So in terms of the manufacturer or what is.

Keith: The machine are our uppers, lowers, hand guards, muzzle brakes, uh, backup side springs and scope mounts all in house. Wow.

Wade: That’s awesome. I love it because I have a buddy of mine who’s in the holster side, and that’s the same. That’s the same thing that they they’re a little bit different with their materials, but that’s the same thing is they get to that that allows them to experiment with. Because if you just focus on one part of the gun, then you can only experiment with that part of the gun. But if you make all you know everything you can experiment and everything, it’s like a mad scientist, right?

Keith: The cool thing is, the people that we’ve chosen to partner with for the components, we don’t do that. So our barrels are made by Hitman Industries down in veteran owned and our barrel manufacturer. And when we start talking we’re like, hey, here’s what we’re looking for as far as quality, as far as accuracy. So and then they’re the ones like, hey, we have an idea for a brand. There’s collaboration. When we started our pistol, they will do our pistol barrels and it’ll be a collaboration on the barrels for what we’re looking for. We have another idea I can talk about because I won’t give anyone else the idea, but it will be a rifle based platform that hasn’t been done. We are directly working with them to engineer the barrel for this system. Our bolt carrier manufacturers, both of them, work with us on the design of our bolt carriers. We are going to be changing, making some major changes to the bolt carrier system here in the next year, and they will be actually be paramount to the overall design functionality we’re trying to do. But they’re all willing to do that with us because they’re like, hey, I don’t know if people do that. Everybody is like, hey, I want that one. You can make it in this color for me. How many can you make?

Wade: Yeah, well, the cool thing about what you’re describing is, and I think about it as like a, I used to be a beer guy. Right. So there’s a beer called Allagash, and Allagash White is about 85%, 90% of what they do, but it allows them to do all these other types of experiments and things to find what it is. And so now that you guys have got through the the curve of, okay, we got some success, we’ve got our gun, we’ve got our platform. That’s the bread and butter of what we do. It’s always going to be the bread and butter of what we do now. It allows us to go out and discover some new things. And then I think that’s awesome. And I also think it’s awesome that you guys are paired with American, similar American manufacturers for everything, so that you guys can all collaborate. Do you find that the ideas go back and forth in terms of like, yeah, and.

Keith: I’m not at shot show this year or this week and it’s going on right now why we’re talking like barrel manufacturers. Guess what? They called me from the floor and they’re like, hey Keith, XYZ. That’s one thing about the people that we partner with in the industry. That’s how David and I got to where we business partners, we work really close friends. I consider my family and my wife and his wife basically are our family now at this point. And it was very much that same thing. We had similar ideals, values, so on and so forth. And that led to where we are today. We have a new weapon system called Osiris that we got a call from one of our allied countries, and they’re looking for a new cyber platform. They couldn’t find anything in the marketplace that fit their needs. Uh, to my 48 hours to design the gut. Two weeks later, we had a functioning prototype that is now also being looked at by the US military for certification as one of their potential new sniper systems because of its adaptability.

Wade: This episode is brought to you by TacticalPay.com. 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 TacticalPay.com. Again, that’s TacticalPay.com. Well, and that’s the one thing that I’ve found. What you’re talking about is collaboration versus competition, right? Is that I find that the companies that are more willing to collaborate, obviously, you’ve got to keep your proprietary, proprietary stuff that you’re that haven’t released yet in-house. Right. But the more companies are willing to collaborate with other people, the better they do, right? It’s the I think when people try to get super protective is when they struggle because the market is huge. It’s not only it’s huge, but it’s only going to get bigger in my opinion. Where do you see the market going right now for I like to say is I never thought I would say the two things I would never thought I would say is America being energy independent? At least I said that four years ago, and that more households in America would own guns that didn’t. Right. And so the second one now is not going to change. That’s only going to get bigger. Where do you see the market going? Where do you see what you guys are doing? How how do you see the next five years.

Keith: The next five years for me and David are going to be busy, because the amount of things that we have on a written down that we’re working on developing most of which seem to happen. So I can’t really go into a lot of detail on them. It runs off of a page of things we’re working on, and we’re constantly have new ideas. Walked up to me the other day like, dude, I got this, came to me at 3 a.m. and we literally walked into the ball and went through, played through the functionality with this rifle, basically picked it up. Okay, how would that work on here and played through it together. And now he’s actually working on engineering to integrate into our platforms. As far as the where the market’s going right now. It’s been the last year and a half. There’s been a lull. It’s been weird, honestly. Everybody I talked to in the industry and people in the same space as me who make different price point platforms than mine, same thing. There’s like sales have been really weird. The stuff that’s been selling is the the lower end entry level sub $500 guns. I see that circling around this, more and more people get involved and more and more worried about firearms and get more experience with them. Like like you said, with learning Ironside, so on and so forth. They’re going to realize the difference between that sub $500 gun and 1000 or $2000 gun and what it brings to them as far as reliability, accuracy for the family, for hunting, so on and so forth.

Keith: And that’s what I see happening, is people, those people that are new to the gun industry are going to start start transitioning to the better engineered weapons. I’m not putting down the inexpensive weapons myself. You’re in a situation where you have to draw on someone unfortunately can still carry. You’re probably going to lose that weapon. I’ll give up the $300 block I have, but I’m not giving up my $2,000 1911. So I see a lot more people looking into trying different things. My biggest complaint with the industry, honestly, is that industry seems to have made the firearm consumer complacent. Like we were saying that it’s more cosmetic. So a company comes out and they’re like, look, we did the greatest thing ever. And people run out and buy this $2,200 rifle that really did did nothing to you. But because they got a big thing, people think they did something and they taught how great it is when they really didn’t do anything. And then companies like us were very small and struggling to really grow our name. We’re working our tails off to innovate with purpose, purpose driven, we’re saying engineered for professionals. So I one of the things we say about our guns, because it’s input from the professionals that we use to engineer.

Wade: Yeah, from my end is being a writer for the industry and helping companies write and communicate. It’s a communication problem more than it’s a manufacturing problem or a even a law like a legal problem. Right. So I think the big problem right now is that people are unsure of how to position everything, because everyone seems to be waiting for something to happen, but nobody really knows what that something is. So it’s very difficult to position position firearms right now, like from a hunting perspective, or from a self-defense perspective, or from a everyone’s going all esoteric and crazy and what’s going to happen. And I think that’s the biggest problem right now is and why I love doing this podcast is because it’s just giving businesses the opportunity to communicate what they’re all about. Once you go to the public and explain to them and get them to understand, almost no one then is anti-gun, right? Like you’re always going to have your fringe people, but when you sit people down and actually communicate with them, this is what we’re doing. This is why we’re doing it. It’s almost never as people like, oh no, I just agree with that. And I think that’s one of the biggest problems is the communication issue is that are you you agree with me on that or disagree?

Keith: It’s just getting the name and word out there. Like you said, the rain recognition, the product recognition and so on and so forth. We have a new product. So everybody will go, oh, when you answer questions, helmets ask. I’m like, well then you weren’t talking to the right people. You know everything about our weapon. We we listen. So you as a say you say you don’t know anything about Aops or you’re putting your first one together. You’re on the same frustration. Everybody else, why do I got to vote the same weird angle and literally put on a gun to drive things in? We try to eliminate that so the whole gun goes together and comes apart with basic hand tools instead of, oh, you need a special. Wrench in this thing. You got to beat on the gun with a hammer. And those are the little things we listen to. Everything is basic and put our gun together, take it apart, service and change things out or whatever. Our top line gun we call apex designed it for the guy who’s like, I want one. The guy who walks and says, I want one gun. I’m never going for anything. I’m never going to upgrade anything. My apex is it? Yeah. Best barrel. We’re getting half anyway, anchors off the shelf with arguments. So the average shooter three round group at 100 yards and a half inch.

Keith: So your average are in this industry is a 4 to 6 months a 4 to 6 inch grouping. Our guns are high end. You’re gonna have a £2 transfer fire trigger. They’re ready for suppressors, adjustable gas systems. No felt recoil. No way. £6. We were the first industry first in the industry to include arc rails because military and law enforcement were shooting off something. It’s usually flat, but all of the tripods and bipods industry are transitioning to an arc system, so they clip on faster. You can adjust the position of it faster. And then we actually heard military, you know, and everything else. We’re the first industry to include a standard 45 degree offset mount. So if you have a top mount optic like this, you go from magnified to red dot for close quarters without changing your cheek position. Because we did the math, David did all the math engineering. We screwed up the first couple to figure out the height, but when you roll, it’s already adopted the proper pupil height. That’s the kind of things that we do. And if someone comes to us and goes, hey, it really needs to be an inch taller, here’s why. We’ll probably cut one, test it, and if it’s right, that’s what we’ll go into production.

Wade: Yeah. And I think the cool thing about what you’re saying, you said if I was ever to only get one gun, what gun would that be? Right. And so that it’s utility the utility of it is very good. Meaning. Okay. So I’m gonna come in, I’m going to buy it, I’m going to get good at it. And then I can stop. Or if I want to keep going down that road, I can trick it out, right? I can do whatever I want to do on it. And so it’s it seems to be that it’s it hits that sweet spot.

Keith: Well, and furthermore, then say you live, say you have a spouse that says you can only buy one more gun if you’re done, you can’t buy any more guns, or you live in a state that’s extremely prohibitive and makes it difficult to own guns. Well, the gun is the lower receiver. This is not. And the way our gun goes together, it’s literally that fast. We got it done. So that’s that fast change calibers or barrel lengths. There’s a national. We actually didn’t seek them out. They sought us out by sales guy. Uh, Steve part of us been from the beginning, put the whole thing together. But there’s a TV show, a national hunting TV show that sought us out, and we’re going to be now their firearm sponsor provider for the next two seasons on their show, for the host and the co-host. And the host is literally gonna have a 20 inch barrel bumper Barney Overwatch platform, which is the designated marksman rifle, mainly for like law enforcement, long distance shooting, but also for hunters. And he’s going to have a secondary upper 18 inch upper and different caliber. So if he crosses the state line to a state that he can’t, you have to use a straight wall cartridge 10s and swap it out. Law enforcement, same thing. They can go from a long barreled gun like this to a short girl gun 10s swap it out. You can’t do that with a standard AR events. And the guy, everybody who’s run this thing has fallen in love with it because it is so tight. It is so accurate, it is lighter and maneuver is better. And and I will continue to grow. That’s why we call it evolves because it’s going to continue to evolve.

Wade: Yeah. That’s the cool thing to say. So for someone like me, it’s like I have a pretty stock AR unfunctional on it, but at some point it looks like tattoos, right? Like you never only get one tattoo. Right. It’s your. Yeah, yeah. Like I don’t have a tattoo for that very reason because I know I would, I would never I would always get more than one. But and that’s the thing about what I think is, is the what you’re describing is that you have a very safe place to land for someone who’s okay, I’m competent, I want to spend some money. Where do I go? Right. And they can. And I’m not I’m not Pooh poohing the Gucci industry, right? Because it’s like it’s a huge like I said, is that the firearms industry is a big enough tent for everyone. And if you want to have a, you know, trick out your gun and raise.

Keith: $50,000 grade rifles sitting on the wall, right.

Wade: So yeah, of course. So you get it. Right. But and so you’re able to do that. But also then for like I say, a normal person like me, is that okay. You want to have an option to where like I can feel good about that, I’m going to buy this and I’m never going to have to worry about it. And that’s what you seem to be describing to me.

Keith: Yeah. If you’re going to buy our flagship top line apex, it’s the gun you’ll never need to upgrade. Right. And will not let you down.

Wade: It’s good to see you switch it so fast, right? Because you can write that on an advertisement or whatever. When you see you do it, you’re like, oh man, okay. It really is fast.

Keith: Yeah. And the more you do it, it becomes second nature. And you pick up a gun that has ten and you know, what the hell is this? Yeah.

Wade: And that’s that’s for me. That’s me taking my gun apart and cleaning it. I’m like, oh, so let’s go back to the hand gun a little bit for the time that. We have love. Because I have a question for myself personally, I was just thinking about it is the first thing you’re going to do? Is it going to be a full size gun or you’re thinking more everyday carry?

Keith: It’ll probably be a fold, a mid-size or geared towards law enforcement, military use. But when we design it, it will be there will be a variant on designed at the same time for the everyday carry market. Yeah.

Wade: No I just, I just think that’s. Right? Yeah. Because for me, my whole journey was I started with a Glock 17. I was like, I’m a big dude. I’m six four, 220. I was like, I can EDC that, no problem. And then I’m like, I don’t really want to carry this around like that. So it was nice that they I could learn on that. And then I could go to the Glock 19. And I always think that’s cool when people have that in mind in terms of that step. Right. Because it’s still going to be basically the same gun. So when you transition from one to the other, is there going to be that feeling of a transition or is it going to be more like the same gun? You know what I mean? Because like the Glock 1719 is the same gun effectively when I’m holding it in my hand to me. Right.

Keith: You’re just talking parallel, right?

Wade: Is it going to be that kind of difference or is it going to be a totally different gun?

Keith: We haven’t finalized that that right to that level yet. We will probably have a couple different variants will probably have for EDC, a 4.25in barrel, single stack. So it’s easier for your appendix carry. Probably still offer that and double stack for the guys. So that’s why I love myself. Or guys like I want more rounds. But then we’ll have your standard five and six inch barrel type drivers that are the more purposed, you know, for the competition shooter as well as the military or law enforcement person. Yeah.

Wade: And I think that’s from a manufacturing perspective. That’s what gets so tricky because there are so many strongly held views with the people have about what they want and what’s the best. Right. And so that is one thing I really respect about from you guys in terms of the manufacturing sides, is it really manufacturing side? It really is a minefield that you guys have to navigate kind of for the demand side, because there are such strongly held views.

Keith: Yeah, yeah, that’s the first one I made was a PCC block magazine fit PCC and it was a 357 C. I thought it’s such a volatile round. It’s hard to feed and run. If our platform can run this this they’ll run feed anything. And it’s true. It did work. That’s it. People like us. Why don’t you make a peace block? I need one, so we will probably circle back to PCC at some point. But it’ll be a ATX to fit type system. Our ATX, MKS or MP5 style magazine. They do feed better. Um, but for now, our concentration is on our radar, which we make it 70 calibers already. Overwatch are making calibers our AK and are making four calibers, and then the Osiris sniper system precision system that will be also making a light version and it’ll be a short action. The run we have right now is a long action with a swap barrel. So I can go from 308 to a three, three, two just by changing the barrel and bolt. And then we’re going to be doing a heavy class also on that for long range. Yeah.

Wade: Well and that’s the other thing too. On the rifle side is the load right. Is the I get lost in the debates on the different types of caliber of rounds that but that’s the cool thing about the AR platform is it’s so flexible. You know what I mean is that you can trick it out to fire almost anything you want and get super esoteric with it, even if you want to. So that’s what’s so cool about it. All right. Well, cool. Well, we’ve covered a lot of ground today. I’m frankly, I’m excited to check out your guns because don’t tell my wife. But I need to get a new AR. So I’m going to I’m definitely going to take a look at it.

Keith: I’m tell anyone’s wives anything like that. And we do a couple shows, uh, a couple events here down in Virginia, and we’ll be doing, uh, quite a few trips to North Carolina this year. So I’d be glad any time, be willing to take you out and bring cameras once. If you don’t, great. Don’t carry away, but rather take you out. Bring all the platforms and let’s run them.

Wade: I love it, yeah, I know, I will for sure follow up and find out when you guys are going to be down here. How can people find you? Give me any of your socials, your websites. What’s the best way to get socials on Instagram?

Keith: We’re at 51fifty, and also at op51_usa. That’s a combination of us and uh, Optimum parts and then optimum has it’s own stuff on Instagram and Facebook and then our website 51fiftyrifles.com and optimumpartsco.com.

Wade: Awesome. And is there an email someone can send questions to if they have any specific questions.

Keith: Absolutely. Just info@51fiftyrifles.com.

Wade: Well like I said as I’m super fired up to learn more. I’ve learned a lot today. I’m super fired up to check out your platform. And thank you so much for coming on today. I really appreciate it.

Keith: Thanks, sir. Appreciate you having me.

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