AKs, Cerakote, and American Dreams with Andrew Garcia of Syndicus Defense Corp.

About This Episode

In today’s episode of Tactical Business, host Wade Skalsky sits down with Andrew Garcia of Syndicus Defense Corp. In this episode Andrew talks about their innovative Gen 3 AKs and the groundbreaking Orion model, bridging the gap between AK and AR platforms. Explore their commitment to American craftsmanship and the future of firearm design. Don’t miss this insightful conversation on modernizing the AK platform and the importance of firearm education and safety.

Insights In This Episode

  • The company expanded its offerings from manufacturing to gunsmithing and training, emphasizing quality control and American-made components.
  • Andrew addresses misconceptions about AK rifles, highlighting their reliability and the company’s commitment to modernizing the platform.
  • Andrew emphasizes the fundamental right to bear arms and the importance of preparedness in uncertain times, regardless of political affiliations.
  • Andrew discusses the importance of Cerakote coatings for durability and reliability.
  • Syndicates Defense Corp’s journey reflects the entrepreneurial spirit and determination to challenge industry norms.

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 our interview series continues. And today we’re talking with Andrew Garcia. Andrew, how are you doing today?

Andrew: Good. And yourself sir, I’m.

Wade: Like a 7.25, but I’m trending in the right direction. So I’ve had my coffee, so I need that time to work its magic.

Andrew: You beat me to it. I know yet, right?

Wade: So yeah. So why don’t we just go through a little bit of how you got to where you are right now? For some of our listeners that may not be familiar with you or your company, and we’ll just go from there.

Andrew: Absolutely. Well, thank you again for having me on the show. I really appreciate it. Again. My name is Andrew Garcia. I’m the CEO and owner of  Syndicus Defense Coporation. We’re out of Fullerton, California. We started about four years ago and it’s funny how it started. I’ve been in law enforcement for almost ten years. I’m currently a detective still. I’ve always wanted my own business, and unfortunately I got hurt on the job like many guys, and I had some time to think and reassess what I wanted to do with my career in life if I couldn’t go back to work. So in being that I always wanted a business, I was like, okay, well, what can I do? And I had an old partner who’s no longer with us, egged me on into the firearms industry. I’ve always been shooting. I love guns, it’s pretty decent at it. And he goes, well, let’s dive into that. I said, okay, well, I wanted to start a business, have some money saved up. What do you think? He was like? Well, let’s do AKS. I’m like, what? Who? He goes, yeah, AK is on. My God, dude, I hate AK. He goes, have you ever shot one? No, but I hate him. He goes, well, how do you know you like them or don’t like them? I don’t, you’re right. So conversation kept going on and he’s like, look just give me X amount of money and I’ll build one. I said, okay, how about we build it together? Either a done deal.

Andrew: So I gave him a couple bucks. We got some parts and we built our first AK. Went out to the desert and I said, all right, this is all great and all, but if we’re going to start a business, we got to test this thing, make sure it works. So I vividly remember standing behind my truck with a nice long rope and being behind our truck and pulling the trigger, and it worked. That really got my mind thinking about, okay, well, if I want to start a business, is this something that’s going to be fruitful? Is it going to be something that I like? Is it going to be something that we could actually entertain and dive deep into and without thinking? Really, we just started diving into it. We got back to the to the garage, started tweaking, working on some stuff, learned the ins and outs by talking to some industry leaders, Robert Forrest being one of them in the AK community and watching a ton of videos and just doing a lot of reading books for short. We come back two weeks later, we shoot the same AK with all the tweaks that we did, and it ran fine. And that really got my eyes and my mind involved in what it would take to build a business. In doing that, I started getting better, going through rehab and whatnot for my arm where I was injured at and still kept going with the business.

Andrew: We went from the garage to my shed, outgrew the shed really quick, started gaining a couple stores, moved in from the shed, living room, dining room, kitchen to the point where I was like, okay, well, we’re in, uh, about a year and a half in. We’re growing. Things are looking good. At that time, we used to be called Brown Bear Armory. We started to do a name change and a rebranding to really push ourselves and take it seriously. And from the moment we left my house and went to the warehouse, that’s when we switched over to Syndicates or Syndicus Defense Coporation, and we changed our logo and we started growing from there. And we went from manufacturing weapons, or specifically AKS to Gunsmithing. We got into the world because we wanted to mitigate and manage our quality control when it came to certain things, and that was one of them. So we built a cerakote facility and got trained by Cerakote themselves and got our advanced application on top of that. And then we also expanded a little bit more and started a training company. So we have a nother warehouse right next door to us where we do a lot of tactical training, concealed carry for people in California, tactical training for civilians, military and law enforcement. That’s a nutshell. Real quick of what we’ve done in the last four years here.

Wade: That’s amazing. One thing I love about the gun community is a big tent, right? So you’re going to have your people who are going to be your die hard on an AR platform. And that is, I think, has a lot of broader appeal. But what is it about the AK platform that you’re finding that once you started making it, that the community really wanted from it? And then what did you notice about that specific community itself that really said, okay, we can meet a need here and create a business for that section of the gun community.

Andrew: Absolutely. So one thing I’ve noticed and I’ve talked about with a lot of people is unfortunately, Ars are a dime a dozen everywhere. Anyone can build them. It is legitimately a legal block. It’s so easy to build. Parts are easily accessible. The thinking of building an AR is pretty much there is not much to it. Other than what kind of barrel do you want? Upper? Lower? What kind of trigger do you want to drop in? So on and so forth. Right. And furniture on top of that with an AK. I really thought about it. I’m like, there’s not a lot of people, there’s not a lot of companies making AKS, let alone American made a case. And that’s where I started seeing the difference in the separation and the value. Unfortunately, the last couple of decades, the AK has been seen as the bad guy gun. Okay, that may be true, but if we start looking at it from a technical perspective, it’s been in every conflict around the world and it still holds true to be a reliable weapon. Granted, it was designed and built in Russia by Kalashnikov, but every idea that’s ever been thought of has either been upgraded or changed and somehow made to benefit us here in one way or another. And that’s what I wanted to do when we talked about starting this business, we talked about changing the AK platform. And to answer the question about the AK community isn’t easy to please, and that’s just bare facts.

Andrew: Unfortunately, they still think AKS are 2.99 and 3.99, which was in the early 2000, and as much as I wish that were true, it’s unfortunately with our economy that isn’t the case. And on top of that, for us as a company, one of our biggest things is we want everything American made all our parts, gets, our American made, their hammer forged for all the crucial parts. We have cold forged barrel, our receivers. We’re using shoulders in the United States for furniture. We either bounce back from Texas Weapon system Jmac customs. We use a unraveled break that’s made here in California at Utech Bipods, who are also in California, Magpul, MDT and so on and so forth. So you’re coupling all that. You’re getting all American made parts. Plus we’re hand building them in shot by either active or retired law enforcement, military and or super two way supporters. That worked for us. And it’s all being hand built in-house. So what I tell people is I wish I could start an AK for 299923999, but I’m trying to not only do this all in house and keep American companies in play, but also the people that. Plus, we’re not paying them cheap. We’re giving them a lot more than you would see nowadays. And it’s crazy because in California it’s hard to compete. You got the guy at McDonald’s. And no disrespect to them, they’re working, but they’re getting paid $20 an hour minimum, so I gotta my guys are at a very high skill set, especially with an AK, because it’s not a Lego piece.

Andrew: It’s very different. There’s a lot of skill set involved into it, and there’s a method to the madness, as they say, in building this weapon system. So you couple all that and it’s on how unique it is and how different and the value it could bring. And then just the idea of changing the AK platform to meet modern demands for the operators out in either in a theater war or in law enforcement, or just the two way supporters or the kids that are growing up playing video games like Call of Duty or Tarkov or Fortnite. They are intrigued by these cool new designs of how a gun is built and operated, and what kind of features you can add from optics to pec fifteens ers, pressure switches, lights and so on and so forth. So taking all that into consideration, it really gave us and gave me the push to do what we’re doing now and really get this AK platform not only to an American standard that we look and strive for, but also to an operational standpoint that Americans really want. And we do have some old traditional AKS too, which we stay true to that we can build. But our focus is designing this platform in such a way that’s going to be beneficial to the modern day operator, per se.

Wade: There’s a reason why it’s been used for so long in every theater of war, right? Because there’s the design is a genius design, regardless of where it comes from. It’s a tool, like anything else. Do you find, though, that because I know for me, every bad guy in a movie has an AK, right? Even since back the movies back in the 80s. So there’s a perception. So you have two challenges, right? You have the challenge of, all right, we’re going to have to differentiate our AKS because of the value of them, just independently of all the things that you just talked about. But then you have this additional challenge where you have the perception challenge. Right. Because I’m assuming that you want to expand the number of people that are in the AK community and for people to consider maybe trying out an AK platform instead of just a traditional AR platform.

Andrew: Absolutely. So yeah, we do have that challenge, right? So now that we’re on our Gen three of acres, we launched them at shot show. We wanted to give exactly what I was talking about prior to is the perception change of okay, these are bad guy guns. Or at least they were bad guy guns to those perceiving it as bad guy guns. Now, with the change in furniture and how they look and what they’re capable of doing, it gives the user more opportunity to add things that are going to benefit him and whatever theater he’s in. For example, I’ll show you. I have our new Gen three, our Hyperion, you know, the arenas and letting it show. But the whole point of this gun is the rail system and how things are done here. We wanted to add more m block, more surface area to put a light and optic infrared laser, so on and so forth, whatever you need. And this gun in particular is one of our gen threes. It’s about £6 with a £2 trigger, but it gives you the versatility of adding the things that you need, like an optic on the backside of the dust cover, whereas before it would be side mounted on here and you would have to do a lot more things to not only remove the dust cover, there’s a malfunction or address any issues that came along with the firearm. So that was one issue we had to address. Then the big one is, how do I get consumers to say, you know what, I want AK over an AR? Well, the biggest question is I don’t know about the AK platform.

Andrew: That’s one. Then two, which we addressed this year within the last two years is well, I have 3010 round, 20, 30 round mag sitting at home and I want to shoot two, two, three because it’s the easiest, most readily available ammunition out there right now unfortunately. And that’s been the trick is how do I get these? How do I get the consumer not only interested in AK, but they save them money at the end of the day. So we really thought long and hard. And this year we actually launched our Orion, which is our 223556 AK that takes Pmags. It’s a proprietary piece that we designed and developed and patented, so that we can easily transition the AR user into the AK platform without changing the ergonomics too much to scare them away, but bring them in a lot easier than it would if I told them, hey, you have to use a banana mag, you have to rock and lock, and they’re just looking at me like, I don’t know how to do that, right? Whereas now we have the Orion, which it’s been done before in different variants that have full time. We have about 5 or 6 different times that are like really noticeable. But what we did is we brought it up to modern times. We have a flared magwell. We have this mag wall adapter that will take the Pmags and NATO mags, and we built a gun that’s ergonomically and physically and cosmetically appealing, but more importantly, operational.

Andrew: And that’s what I’ll show you next. To get my point across is in building the Orion, we kept the same ergonomics as the Hyperion. So as you can see, what we did here is we designed and patented that flared magwell. So for an AR user, all you have to do is apply the. Like you would for an R, it locks in. You rock your boat back. Shoot your rounds, hit your targets, and then you release with the regular AR mag release. And again, the whole concept behind this was I wanted to design and build a gun that was going to easily transition the AR guy into the world without having to spend more money, without changing up the ergonomics, keeping almost all the training methods the same as far as a rifle functionality, and then saving them money on a regular mag release line that isn’t any different than what they have at home. And I thought about it really hard and I talked to the team about it. I’m like, this makes sense. Like, why are we going to make people spend more money? They don’t need to. They already have the tools at home. Let’s just give them the platform that we love and that we’ve come to understand and make it an easier transition for them to adapt and learn. And that’s what we did here with Orion.

Wade: Well, what’s really cool about that is because I would consider myself a more normal consumer. Right? So I don’t have a military background. I did work for the government for a little bit, but I would be a normal person. And so for me, if you could say, hey, Wade, you can take all of your stuff that you have on your AR if it’s on an Mlock and you can move it all over to this platform, and then it’s like a bridge and then that there’s a comfort level there. I think that’s something that would be very appealing to me, because I don’t want to have to go into a whole new platform because I already have a platform, right? Because I’m like, okay. Because to me, when I was thinking about an AK, I thought that was a machine gun. When I started, I was like, it’s the full auto, it’s a machine gun, it’s illegal. You can’t even own an AK. And then once I started to get more into guns and came out of the hunting world, I was like, oh yeah, you can buy an AK just like any other platform. But by that time I was already in the kind of the, the AR orbit. So I think it’s really exciting for you guys. And I think it’s a great that’s super smart to have that bridge platform for you. And then if someone really digs it, then they can go full to the full AK, the classic kind of the AK platform.

Andrew: Absolutely. And that’s what we wanted. We wanted to take the thinking out of it and let them know that, hey, look, we’re here trying to do something for you guys to give you a platform that you guys can enjoy and use, and that if it comes down to a point where you need it, you know, defending your family or just having fun, it’s there and it’s easy to use. And eventually the goal would be like, hey, take this weapon system that was built many years ago, many decades ago, that was done right, that performs and all types of situations. And there’s been almost every conflict. And let’s add the ergonomics of what you already know how to use. And let’s keep that reliability and then present them with the Orion. I would love for my gun to not only be for the everyday consumer, but I would love for it to go for NATO countries or even some US special teams in that case that can find use for it. That was that’s my goal. And every year we’re going to try to find something to better this weapon systems and eventually come up with their own weapon system. That’s completely our own design. That’s the whole American dream. If I’m going to take it this far 20 years from now, 15 years from now, is develop a weapon system that will compete with well respected companies that I’d love to be right next to the shoulder.

Wade: Yeah. No. And that’s the American way, right? We take something that’s worked before and we just make it better because we have the creativity to do that. Because you’re not mass producing just a classic Kalashnikov, right? Like it’s not just a classic AK. It’s I think it’s also cool too, is like it’s almost at some point like how many Ars can you purchase? You feel like Gooch out your AR. So at some point, like, well, do I want to spend $3,000 on an optic or something or on a whatever? And instead, well, okay, instead of trying to keep feeding that thing of wanting to learn new things, I can transform to a different platform and have that bridge like you talked about. I want to talk a little bit about an Cerakote because I don’t actually know what that is. And so I know that some of the people won’t know what that is. And I know that you guys are certified in it. And so walk me through what that is, how it impacts the gun and how it just basically the manufacturing process and why it’s good basically.

Andrew: Oh, absolutely. So Cerakote isn’t fairly new. It’s been around for a while. It’s just starting to become the last, I would say 5 to 7 years. Super popular in the gun world, cerakote is a coating that’s applied to metals and plastics. It’s just depending on what you want to apply it to. They have different series from eight series, C series, and elite series. For example our guns, we use elite series. It’s durable, it’s high quality, it’s a ceramic based and it’s fairly easy to apply. It does take some time in the sense of prepping. So prepping no matter what. For us, we follow Cerakote SOPs to the T. The goal is eventually to become as9100 and work on aerospace parts. That’s a whole nother level. To get there, we have to perfect a very basic subset, gave us develop our own steps, and add more to our SOPs and policies and procedures of how we do that. But to start off for us, all of our guys are circled, certified, not just one. Normally, a shop will have their owner that’s certified and they’ll work off under him. That’s a great concept and I like it, but what we’re trying to attain is something greater. So the perception amongst the team was, hey, let’s get everyone certified so everyone understands and is at the same playing field and doing this so that if we develop or learn something different or new, we can all bounce ideas off of each other and perfect ourselves and also check ourselves too, as if you have Billy doing something one way and Paul doing something another way.

Andrew: And Billy goes, hey Paul, let’s try. Doing this either. Palm Valley can be like, hey, that’s a great idea, and they may talk it out and see, hey, is this going to be beneficial? Is this going to interfere with any of our SOPs or policies? So on and so forth. And they may agree and then Round Table with the rest of the crew later on. Hey, we tried a new method. This worked out. Let’s round table it with circle and see what they think or vice versa. Billy may be doing something that’s not to SOP, and Paul can check them and be like, hey bro, like that’s not a good idea. We’re skipping out on 20 extra minutes when this thing should be baking at a full 20 minutes. Let’s make sure we’re keeping it, adhering to that policy and that SOP so that we don’t deviate off of it. And that’s really important to us because under baking something or over baking something has its consequences. We might get more flaking or the cerakote elite might not adhere to the metal or the plastic that we’re applying it to properly.

Andrew: And then at the end of the day, our end result is going to be a bad application. And God forbid, a customer that’s like, hey, this isn’t applied properly. And then the word starts traveling. Like we said earlier, this community is very small, very big, but very small. So word travels quick. So it does take a minute to apply whether it’s one part or a couple hundreds of parts. But the procedure is the same and every series has its different application purposes. And eight series, C series and E series. We mainly stick with E series because of the metal grinding on metal and the combustion inside the chamber when the firing pin hits the primer, and so on and so forth. The beauty about it though, if it’s applied properly like we do it, the layer is so thin it doesn’t interfere with the operation, the mechanics of the firearm, which is great. So we’ve actually done strike tests where the metal or bend test, where the metal will fail before the coating does, which is actually really cool. So it’s resistant to scratches, salt water, chemical and so on and so forth. So that’s why we choose it. We like it and we use it primarily on our weapons.

Wade: Well, and that’s one thing I think with any kind of firearm is durability. Obviously durability and functionality is the number one important thing. So it’s got to work when you need it or else what’s the point. And one of the advantages that an operation like yours, from a manufacturing perspective is that you can take chances. You don’t have to go through this long, drawn out bureaucratic process because you’re a gigantic corporation to try to do new prototypes or new ideas or just mess around in the shop. And so it can really lead to a lot of creative things, just like your flared magwell with regards to the was it the Orion? Is that what it was or that was the other one, the the Orion? Yeah. The Orion. Yeah. So and that’s what I think is that is where the creative American ingenuity comes in. And then you’ll be able to be flexible in your manufacturing process and can lead to some really cool discoveries.

Andrew: Absolutely. And the goal is for the team is to challenge each other every day, find something different, find a problem, fix a problem, address a problem, but then teach it back to everyone else. And that’s big for us. That’s one thing that’s ongoing. We don’t know everything, and that’s a common perception that should be kept. I think for anybody that’s doing any kind of business or manufacturing is we’ll never know everything. But the beauty about us being human is that we have the capability to learn, adapt and overcome. And that’s huge for us. And that’s really instilled by one of our master gunsmiths, Allen. He’s been in the military for years, served our country, and passes down his wisdom of firearms and just his wisdom of hard work ethic throughout the team. And that really resonates with the guys of how to really push ourselves to the limit, which is nice.

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. One great thing is, and I think you’re really cognizant of this, is that there’s this American tradition of guns. It’s almost like the American martial art, where has a martial arts will have this long, unbroken chain of teachers, students to becoming teachers to students, and then it preserves the art. Whereas the same is true for firearms. It’s you have this relatively short in terms of our history. You know, the country’s not that old compared to other countries, but a very deep culture. And it’s generational. And so I think it’s really exciting that you guys are cognizant of that and that, like you said, is you want to stand shoulder to shoulder with some of the other big dogs in the space eventually and have your own platform. What are you guys focusing on the next one, two, three years?

Andrew: The next two, three years is we’re looking for a shop probably 15 to 20,000ft². We want to expand production. We’d like to be moving on from 500 guns a year to 1500 guns to hopefully 5000 more a year. We’re working on our Sam seven ETR to start being able to bid for contracts outside of the US amongst NATO countries, of course, and we want to grow our team. We want to grow our knowledge. I want and I know the rest of my team wants a cross trained. We want all the guys to be able to not only perform in circle, but also perform in building these AKS. I think that’s really crucial. I’m not scared to show the team, and they’re not scared to show new people what we’re capable of doing. And I think that’s really important. Usually when most companies will have 1 or 2 master builders and they’ll hold that tight to their chest, that’s great, you know? But if we really want to meet that standard of of ingenuity and meet that standard of manufacturing, I think everyone has to understand the basic ideologies and the basic concepts of building a firearm, let alone our principal firearm, so that when we get to the point where we’re going to create our own platform and address the things that work and things that don’t work, everyone has a working knowledge of what they’re using and how they’re building it. And if I can get a team of 30 that know how to manufacture an AK from start to finish, whether that’s a super old school AK 47 on an AK platform to, God willing, the Phoenix firearm platform, whatever that may be in two years.

Andrew: What we design and develop, then I think we’ve achieved something greater, because now it’s at a 1 or 2 people understanding how to actually build from start to finish and have a group of 30 guys that I trust, that trust me, that trust each other and trust the process to propel this company to a whole nother level, because I may be the owner and the CEO, but I don’t make the company. My team makes the company. And that’s like anything here in the US Special forces, they have teams, they have their team leader, and they all work in unison, and they’re able to work together with their team leader and with their skill set and sharing information and working as one. Yeah, they’re following the chain of command and structure, which is great, and that’s definitely needed. But they all understand the goal and what the outcome is going to be. If they perform at their top tier level, they’re going to succeed. And that’s the concept that I instill in my guys. That’s the concept that Alan, you know, passes down and teaches, and that’s the concept that everyone else is picking up on. And we’re starting that with the about 14 guys right now. We’re starting that understanding of, hey, this is what we’re about, this is what we’re doing.

Andrew: And to get to those goals the next two, three years, just building our own platform, growing the company, getting a bigger facility and pushing the brand out. More importantly than anything, we need to hit those target marks, especially with branding and social media. That’s our big thing. I want people to see the gifts in this logo that I have, that I design as a very high quality, American made company. And when people look at North Gromp or Skunkworks, they’re like, okay, hey, these guys are the real deal. Straight up. There’s no question there. And that’s the kind of respect factor that I want for my team and the company is everyone under this logo is respected, everyone under this logo and this company name really brings something not only to them, amongst themselves at the shop, but to the American people. And that’s what I want. And fortunately, we’re starting to miss that in our country. And I think that’s something that we really need. I’m a die hard American and so is my team, and I think the right thing to do is to give back to our country in a different way and provide them with tools and designs and ingenuity that I think we’ve been somewhat lacking. Or in other words, given the opportunities to other countries to do for us, I don’t think that I think we need to bring that back. And that’s our goal, is be that strong American company that the people deserve.

Wade: Well, and I think manufacturing is the future because regardless of where people stand politically, a strong America is an America that builds things. Right. And so the more things that manufacturing businesses that we have like yours, the better it is for the country. And I think there’s two things to unpack with what you said is, what I think is really cool about your approach is that if you have 30 people that know how to build the platforms from zero, from A to Z, each person thinks differently. They may see a different creative aspect to something that you may not see, because you don’t think the same way as John or Billy or whatever. So if everybody on the team has the same baseline, then it’s very powerful from a sort of ingenuity standpoint, because you enable the whole team to have an opinion.

Andrew: Correct. And one thing that I want to add, and everyone laughs at me for saying this, my first job was working at In-N-Out. Um, but something that I really took from that company, it’s a smart company. Mengzi and her uncle. The Snyder family really push SOPs in how they do things. They have a standard operating procedure. That’s work. I think they have something like 400 stores now across the country over 75 years, and that’s because they follow the same standards of operation. You start off as a level one, and even their VP’s that are in the company now started off as a level one. And like you said, as they progress, they saw things from a different perspective that bettered a method that they had prior and enhance them and help them propel forward to make themselves even better. And then they check themselves. They don’t just go through the motions. And oh, we figured out we’re going to go through. They have a whole separate team, a whole separate division, and they call themselves Qfc Quality Food Control that come back in and check the stores to make sure they’re following the same standards and procedures of all the other 399 stores, so that they’re all on the same page, and then they reconvene, and then they discuss every year what’s working, what isn’t working.

Andrew: Then they take their surveys and they really dive deep into that. And their method is simple. They have three burgers, a fry and a couple of drinks, and it stays the same. And they perfected the most simplistic method possible to be successful. And that’s the same thing that I want to do here. Like you’re saying, I’m packaging that concept of everyone knows how to do this. If everyone’s trained the same way, we’re going to get great ideas, we’re going to reconvene, we’re going to review those ideas, and we’re going to make ourselves better. To add on to that, so that we can progress and move forward and eventually become 150,000 square foot facility that’s producing ten, 20, 30,000 platforms that not only benefiting the community, they’re benefiting the country, but also hopefully benefiting our military personnel. And that’s the hard concept that we want to keep driving in as best we can so that we can progress it.

Wade: Having that attitude and taking that sort of 30,000 foot view makes you a more attractive company, which then helps you to get converts, because, let’s be honest, like you’re in California, right? I lived in California for 16 years. It’s I’m in Virginia now. And so, like, buying a gun in Virginia is much different than buying a gun in California, right? So if you’re a California company and because you’re manufacturing in California as well. Yes. Yeah. So you’re in California and some people say, oh, you got to get out of California. But I take a different view. It’s like, if you can be successful in California, you can start to convert some of the people there and say, hey, listen, this is an American company. This is why this is good. And so that they’re able to actually meet people who they’ll find out, like aren’t scary. So I think that’s really a great thing. And then also too is you said one thing and you said about how, like, you guys aren’t afraid to share your sort of your approach with other companies because you’re trying to get an edge. Right. And I think some firearms companies like to hold things close to the vest, but what they don’t realize is, like, I can tell you, like, I can look at your gun, I can be like, I can see how you make it. But what I don’t have, I don’t have your team and I don’t have your manufacturing actual facility, and I don’t have the knowledge that you guys have. You can tell them the secret sauce, but they’re not going to be able to replicate it because of those three things.

Andrew: Right. And I think the biggest thing there is I could give you the blueprint of how to build our gun. I can tell you what we have on it, but it’s like any team, right? The camaraderie, the trust more importantly, and the team building that we have when we do this, you’re not going to find that. At least in my company, that’s huge. That’s what makes syndicates is the team, is the camaraderie, is that huge trust factor that I know that Paul, Billy, Alan, Chris and so on and so forth. If I tell them to do something, they’re going to do it. Or if they ask me to do something, just because I’m the CEO doesn’t mean I’m too good enough to do whatever they ask me to do. No, I’m going to put whatever I’m doing down and help them so that we can get this project done and go on to the next project. That’s the big thing. No one’s too good for each other on our team, and that’s what I wholeheartedly respect. If if someone’s in charge, if there’s a team leader there or a shop lead, no one’s too good to sandblast this or pick up that. Everyone has their roles and they understand that we’re going to need help. And that’s hard to find in a team, a team that works cohesively to achieve a common goal. And that’s really to this point. Synarchist is the Latin word for syndicate.

Andrew: It’s a common group of people coming together for one purpose, and our purpose is to give the American people what they deserve, give them a quality product that they can have for a lifetime, and then give our team a bond that they’re not going to get anywhere else. And a lot of people talk about it. We have the trials and tribulations every day in that shop where we actually live it. There’s our good days and our bad days, but at the end of the day, we debrief and we see what was good, what was bad. And if someone has to hash out some words and they hash them out and we get through our day, we’re there’s no lack of better terms. There’s no crime. You get the job done, you suck it up. You take constructive criticism whether you like it or not. You got to learn from it. It is what it is like. We’re all men there. And then when we have females too, when we get to that point, we’re going to tell them, hey, there’s no favoring one side or the other. If you choose to work here, you got to understand how we perceive things, and we got to understand that we’re going to mess up. We’re going to give you constructive criticism. You have to learn to be receptive and work on it, and we’ll help you work on it. We’re not just going to leave you hanging.

Wade: And I think that attitude that’s like a family first business attitude, right? It’s like we’re all rowing in the same direction. Are you finding that attitude is also translating to your customer base? Because it seems to me, is that you’re very cognizant of what you believe that people should have access to. And your company philosophy is a. Assuming that also is translating to your customer base as well.

Andrew: Absolutely. Because we’re in California, anybody that wants to come and see the shop, my door’s open, there’s granite. We can’t spend hours. We’d love to, but there’s a reason why someone that’s on the border or on that line of I don’t understand guns, why we shouldn’t let them in and show them what guns are about and what they’re what they’re capable of doing and how we do it. That is a perfect opportunity to turn the two way community into a bigger community, someone that’s straddling the line that isn’t sure, and you taking the time as a company to say, come on in and look at you. What do you mean? Yeah, come on in. We want to show you what we got. Let us talk to you about the two way community, whether it’s our rifles, another company’s rifle, another company’s pistol. It doesn’t matter. Gaining that new to a community member to come in and be a part of what we’re doing is crucially important. Whether it’s my company or somewhere else. If someone comes in, they’re unwary or they don’t know anything about guns, and we can get them to start thinking and change their mind and their perception, you have to go buy a competitor’s gun. We win. We all win. And that I think a lot of people forget that, that at the end of the day, we’re in this together because the more people that are into guns, the more we’re going to sell, whether it’s a pistol, a rifle, because they’re more knowledgeable, they’re more open to it, they’re not shut off.

Andrew: And unfortunately, our biggest enemy sometimes is a two way community itself by not being open to newcomers. And that’s a big problem. We want people to be knowledgeable. I saw a video the other day on social media where it shows a quote unquote liberal, right? Female. Oh, I don’t like guns, I don’t like guns, blah, blah blah. They put her behind a pistol and she was excited. They put her behind a shotgun. She got even more excited. Knowledge is power. It’s always been power giving true, real, raw knowledge and putting these things in people’s hands and actually explaining to them how they work function and what their purpose is. Along with my big believer and I think you are too, and most of us should be. All of us should be actually there for firearm safety rules, right? It’s getting them to understand. And once they understand all that, it becomes fun. Now someone doesn’t like it. Hey, they were taught they tried it. It’s just not for them. But at least they know. At least they have a basic understanding. And I thought that was really cool. Whoever did that, I don’t remember who did it, but they brought that girl on. And at the end of the video she goes, I had my views and I think I want to keep shooting. I’m like, hey, welcome to the club. Come on in. We welcome you with open arms. And I think that’s what we need to do better at all of us.

Wade: Yeah, well, and I think it’s in it’s the right thing to do because you should try to help people who want to be helped. Just in general. It’s the right thing to do, but also it’s in our self-interest. Because if we keep converting people to the two way community, then it helps to protect my right. It helps to protect the political power to try to stop the government from infringing on our rights. So the more people that we have on our side, the better. And today it’s like we’re recording this on a day where the entire country, all the cell phones are going out this morning, like the cell phone service is going out for some reason. Nobody knows why. Whatever. It doesn’t really matter. But now, like, let’s say you’re sitting in a large city and your cell phone’s not working. First of all, I was a prosecutor for years. I didn’t read very many police reports where the police stopped something. Right. It’s always like responding to something. So if you don’t have any cell phone service, you’re on your own. What if the cell phone doesn’t come on for four days? Who are you going to call? I’m not worried about it at all. Like we just. All right, lock the doors, hunker down in my house, and we’re fine. Right? But there are people right now who are having this experience. They’re like, they’re prepared to hear the message. And if they go to someone and they say, hey, tell me a little bit more about, I know you shoot. The cell phone just went out. I was stressed out. What happens if someone comes to my house? I couldn’t call anybody. And if you’re open to that person, then that starts those lines of communication. And I think and unfortunately, as society goes forward in the next one, two, three years, I think people are going to be more and more open to those conversations because of things that are happening.

Andrew: No, absolutely. And that’s a big thing. Understanding the political climate right now, whether you’re on the left or the right, I don’t think it matters. Understanding that you have the right to bear arms and protect yourself is extremely important, because right now, in this day and age, comms go out like they are now. We know what that means. Hey, I’m thinking how many conspiracy theorists? I’m just being factual. Invasion. Cut the comms out. How else are we going to communicate? Like you said, I’m going to bunker down and do what I need to do. You’re trained for it. I’m trained for. A lot of us are trained. But how about those that aren’t my neighbor? I probably has no clue on what to do. And it’s like, oh my God, I can’t get on my social media platform and post my next video. That’s what you’re worried about. We have bigger pawns. But again, that comes part of our responsibility as a two way community to open that door, to be able to talk freely and teach and not be scared to upset someone because you’re trying to teach them. You have to be the bigger person and control your temper or control your perception and be open that maybe taking another extra 30 minutes talking to this person, they might change their perception. Like, okay, you know what, I’ll try it. That’s all you need. That’s all you need. It’s like food, right? I don’t like that food. Do you try it? No. Try it. Hey, this is really good. We’ll see. All you got to do is try. Now, if you don’t like it. Well, I respect that you tried it. I did what I could, and maybe you’ll come around to it later on, who knows?

Wade: The cool thing about it is, and I’m going to bring this back to a case for a second, is that there’s so many different entry points into being prepared. So if it’s through guns, then, well, once you start to get proficient with a firearm, then you start thinking to yourself, okay, well invariably you’re going to meet someone who says, well, okay, well are you physically fit enough to run for a long time? Do you know medical? Can you stop? The bleed. Right? And so then you start to. Okay, now I can stop the bleed. Now I’m getting more fit. And then it goes to the cops thing. It’s like, well, what happens if the funds go out? Well, I have a bafang radio. My mother in law down the street has. And so it’s this journey that has so much depth. And like if you can be welcoming to someone in the two way, you can change the whole trajectory of, of their life. Maybe one day because of the different skills that they’re going to learn, just because you had a good conversation with them. And I think coming back to the AK part is that I think of myself as like for my pistols, I’m a Glock person because my first firearms guy was a Glock person, right? And I was like, oh, I want a EDC, a Glock 17.

Wade: But then I found out because I’m a big person, I was like, that’s too big. And then I went down to the Glock 19. Right. So that gun just shoots better for me. What if you’re shooting an AR and then you shoot an AK and the AK just shoots better for you, like you, for whatever reason, is because firearms, for whatever reason, and I don’t know why that is. Some firearms just shoot better for other people, but you never are willing, or you don’t have access to an AK platform to try it out. And you may try it out and be like like that girl that did it. Like she may be able. I love this AK platform versus whatever. And I think that’s what’s so exciting about what you guys are doing, is because you’re providing an alternative for someone that may be there, they find, oh, this is my gun. And I think that’s a huge deal.

Andrew: Yeah, absolutely. I want to give people the choice. Like you said, if you don’t like an AR but you like an AK or you like the hybrid of an AR, AK, well, we have variety now. And like I said, this has been done before, but not to this statute, not to the ergonomics of the build of this gun, not to the furniture and the brake. We’re using a competition brake that’s extremely popular. Unrivaled. These guys are awesome. They’re here in California. They’ve designed an awesome brake. We’re using what’s called their ube brake. I love talking about it, but I rather I wish I could just hand you the AK right over the phone about here. Go test it out. That’s our biggest win right there is when we put this fire out in people’s hands and they say, hey, I wasn’t expecting this. We hear all the time and I’m not being facetious. This is just words that are coming out of the consumer’s hand. I’m like, hey, I can talk about this all day, but this is your safety. This is on, this is off. This is how you racket. Have fun.

Wade: I think the only other two guns that I can think of that there’s more of a preconception about from media for a normal person would be like maybe a 357 because of dirty Harry and then a double barrel shotgun. So if you were just a normie who had no clue about guns at all, you’d be like, okay, no, an AK is bad guy gun. I know what a 357 is, dirty Harry, and I know what a double barrel shotgun is because hillbillies in the hills or whatever, right? The good news is that people know what an AK is. And then. But I think that’s cool. Like I said, is that you’re providing people those options. Well, listen, Andrew, I’ve had such a great time talking to you today. And this is the problem that I always have with these interviews is I interview these people with these really cool guns and I’m like, no, I got to go buy it now. It’s got to go on the list. I’m going to have to buy one of these guns. I have to try it out. Or at least next year I’ll find you at shot show and pick one up and look at it. But how can people find you? I know the website is SyndicusUsa.com and SyndicuS is spelled SyndicusUSA.com. Are you on socials at all or is that the best way to get Ahold of you? We are.

Andrew: So our website will lead you to purchasing our weapons, our trading site and so on and so forth. And it does have our socials. Instagram is our biggest platform. So that’s. SyndicusDefCorp. We have a few of them. Obviously meta doesn’t like firearms. So that is our main page. It’ll be a gold logo. So it’ll be just like my shirt and the name right underneath. Then the same applies for our Twitter which has been really good. Our YouTube same name. Those are the main platforms. You’ll see our other backup pages on our main platforms. You’ll also see our our other companies, our training page which is Syndikus training Group, and then Syndikus Aerospace. Those are developing slowly underneath our main company. But yeah, our main stuff is posted on Instagram, our videos, our new Orion. We got a ton of new videos of the Orion being tested, and you’ve seen us use Pmags if you’re on fortnight to our syndicate. One of our main gen three guns is also going to be on fortnight right now. You see Tony real world tactical in the lobby holding our gun and it isn’t available for purchase yet, but it will be soon, hopefully one day. Call of duty sees our guns and maybe they want us there as well. We do have two Call of Duty players, Rose and Tactical Taz, that personally own our guns. Martin, the owner of Tactical Taz, is actually one of my close friends. He lives down the street so slowly but surely we’re trying to get up there. We’re trying to make a difference and get into the VR world and the digital world a little bit more. So those are the main platforms that you can find us at.

Wade: I’m looking at your your home page right here, and you’ve got this I don’t know what gun that is, but on the very first picture that comes up that’s in that box that looks like a sweet, that’s a sweet looking.

Andrew: That’s probably our Syndicus if it has the bipod on it. Yeah.

Wade: Yeah. That looks like fun. All right, brother. Well, listen, I would love to have you on the show again. And I love doing these interviews because I learned so much about just different things. And I really appreciate your time.

Andrew: Absolutely. So you’re always welcome. Anytime you’re in California, you’re walking to the shop or grab some food and we’ll talk some more. I’d love to talk to you another time too as well.

Wade: I appreciate it and have a great day.

Andrew: You too sir. Take care.

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.