In the past two years, the National Firearm Industry Trade Association has seen more new gun owners. In 2020, 40% of all firearm purchases were made by first-time gun buyers. In 2021, that percentage was 30%. But despite increased sales, supply chain shortages and inflation, one small town Alabama company is producing high quantities of high-quality ammunition.
Callaway Ballistics, located in western Jefferson County, was started at the beginning of the pandemic by four friends.
“We all were in the firearms community in some way, a lot of us are ex-military and we always talked about doing it,” said Hal Gwin, an engineer at Callaway Ballistics.
Gwin said the idea came to them right before COVID-19, and they got started right in the nick of time. They were able to buy the machines they needed, free of debt, and were able to get the supplies needed. The men went to school to learn how to operate machines. After putting their expertise together, the company was able to grow to nine employees over the past two years.
Wesley Givans, a ballistics expert, said the team works together to bring much-needed ammo to the people of Alabama.
“Everybody here is willing to do whatever is necessary to make the operation go,” Givans said.
Callaway Ballistics provides ammo to individuals and law enforcement agencies. They can even make more customized bullets with a hand press.
The process is tedious and there are several types of automated machines in use at the facility.
“We produce mostly handgun ammo. We do 9mm, .380, .38 Special, we do several different loadings in the 9mm,” Givans said. “We also do .223, 300 Blackout, and 6.5 Creedmoor, rifle ammo.”
The company offers new manufactured ammo and remanufactured ammo. They make around 25,000 cartridges and ammo every day.
The owners of the “booming business” say they make safety and quality a top priority.
“A bad round of ammunition could mean somebody’s life,” said Givans. “So, we take that pretty seriously. We are constantly looking at every component in the process…We work very hard to maintain a very high level of quality, both in appearance and performance.”
To order, you can call Callaway Ballistics or go online to https://callawayballistics.com/. The company offers shipping, pick up or delivery in some cases.
“We ship very quickly. We’re probably ... top of the industry, both on price, we have to be to compete with the existing companies. Our prices have to be low, and so we have some of the best prices out there, but we also ship same day or next day,” Gwin said.
And partner Ben Owens said the best part for consumers is that the company is right in the heart of Alabama.
“We’re factory-direct ammo sales, so you’re cutting out the middle man,” Owens said.
With gun stores nationwide dealing with empty shelves, and projections showing shortages lasting at least through the end of 2022, Callaway Ballistics is able to fill in the gap for people in Alabama.
View the video by Ron Burkett below to see the process of how ammo is made.
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