GRANBURY (CBSDFW.COM) - Texas gun makers are working at full speed trying to meet demand during one of the largest gun buying sprees in years. Staff, machinery and parts though are all putting a limit on just how fast companies can fill shelves again.
At one of the few gun manufacturing companies in Texas, employees were working silently and quickly Thursday to fill orders that just kept coming. Bond Arms’ neighbors may not even know the company exists. The factory near Granbury sits inside a plain building, with no sign, well off the main highway. Only the front door handle, two gun barrels connected end to end, give away what’s made inside.
A small company, Bond will turn out gun number 100,000 this year. It took 18 years to hit that mark. If demand stays the same, the company expects to turn out the next 100,000 within just four to five years.
“We’re really hoping to meet the demand,” said company president Gordon Bond. “Because our biggest complaint is we can’t build them fast enough.”
Bond only makes derringers. The small handguns have two barrels that hold one round each. Bond has built a reputation though on making high quality, solid steel firearms. Their 19 interchangeable barrels allow the owner to use up to 25 different caliber combinations. Their work is in such demand that the back orders from distributors had stretched to over a year. With the rush in buying, the back order list has grown to two years in just the last few months.
“After some of the events that have happened, it’s just gone crazy, so we’re way behind now,” Bond said.
Simply doubling production though to meet demand is impossible for Bond to do. New staff would need training. They would need new equipment to work on. Getting enough parts, especially barrels and frames, is also a problem. Companies that make the parts are struggling with the same roadblocks as Bond.
“If there’s one part missing you can’t finish the product, and you can’t ship it out,” he said.
Bond expects demand will level out at some point, and manufacturers will catch up. He is hoping his own production can eventually expand to 30,000 to 40,000 guns per year.
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