Flathead gun barrel maker sees rapid growth
Staff members at a gun barrel manufacturer in Kalispell tell NBC Montana that their production has more than doubled in the past year. Montana Rifleman owner Brian Sipe says gun customers are worried the Obama administration will tighten gun control. He says that’s been driving demand for products like the barrels made by his company.
Sipe says his business has started doing business with larger companies. He says 70 percent of last year’s barrels went to DPMS Panther Arms, which is one of the world’s largest markers of AR-15s. Sipe says the company’s growth allows him to make more local hires. In the last year, he’s added more than a hundred jobs to the work force.
“I’ve been in the same position these guys have,” said Sipe. “Jobs in the winter in this Valley are pretty tough. You usually work until October, November, and [then] you’re laid off. These guys don’t have to worry about that.”
Sipe says his company has had difficulties finding skilled machinists in the Valley.