Inside Firearms Manufacturer PTR Industries for USA Today

A few weeks ago I spent the day at firearm manufacturer PTR Industries in Aynor, SC during an editorial photography and video assignment for our client USA Today.

Aynor, SC — GunsRelocated: When Connecticut and New York passed strict gun laws following the 2012 Newtown massacre, some gun-makers firmly rooted in the heart of the firearm industry made life and business-altering decisions. They left. In their pursuit of cheap land and deep tax breaks offered by friendly suitors from South Carolina, Texas and Nevada, they have been forced to contend with new challenges: finding skilled workers from the plentiful pool left behind in the so-called “New England Gun Valley’’ and new distribution channels to get their products to market.– Photo by Brett Flashnick, Freelance

For those who don’t know about PTR Industries, they started out in 2002 by producing a rifle that is based on the Heckler & Koch G3/HK91 design after purchasing blueprints and tooling from FBP – Fabrica de Braço de Prata of Portugal which was an HK licensed factory. In the summer of 2013 PTR relocated their entire company from Bristol, Conn., to Aynor, SC., due in part to the passage of increasingly strict gun control laws by the state of Connecticut following shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

For this story we got to check in with PTR executives, CEO, Josh Fiorini, and vice president, John McNamara who opened their doors and gave us un-restricted access to their 58,000-square-foot facility to see how business was doing a year after the move. They filled us in on the bumps in the road that they encountered as well as the positive outlook they have for future growth.

Gallery – Inside Firearm Manufacturer PTR Industries

It was great to photograph, film, and interview some of the employees who made the move from Connecticut as they worked alongside those who were hired locally in Horry County, SC, and its even better to see high quality American manufacturing is alive and growing here in South Carolina.

Make sure to read the article From boom to near-bust: A gunmaker’s cautionary tale by Kevin Johnson on USA Today.

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