LAS VEGAS—During the 2015 SHOT Show, Breitbart News sat down with Daniel Defense founder/owner Marty Daniel and his wife Cindy Daniel to discuss the continued growth and success of their AR-15 manufacturing company.
They make a product that has been dropped from helicopters, dragged down dirt roads behind trucks, then picked up and fired–and fired repeatedly to test for malfunctions. In fact, they bring guns that were dropped from helicopters to the SHOT Show and put them on display along with video of them falling through the sky.
Their ARs are certainly not the ones that Vietnam War vets tells horror stories about, based on their experiences in the jungle. These ARs are a new breed. And they began when Marty started his company at the turn of the 21st century in what was then simply the corner of a shop belonging to another business in Savannah, Georgia.
They built their first gun in 2009.
Daniel Defense now has two facilities–one in Ridgeland, South Carolina, and the other in Black Creek, Georgia–which total 137,000 square feet together.
So how have they done it? And what kind of future do they see for the gun industry in general and for Daniel Defense in the short term?
Regarding how they’ve achieved this success, Marty said:
I’ll tell you what we’ve done. We’ve grown this little infant company into a company that’s crawled and walked, and part of that has been really focusing on know-how. We have the engineering know-how to build every component in our gun. So we don’t just buy components and assemble them. We do have some subcontractors, but they are building to our specs; where we’ve taken the original specs and said, “That’s not quite good enough,” and we’ve demanded a higher tolerance here, a better fit there, and then we trial-and-error those things until we really know we have a better product.
The bottom line, our rifles are highly engineered, they are made of great materials, and put together with great workmanship. I would expect that if you bought a gun from me today, that that gun would pass down to your children, and to their children, and to their children.
Regarding the future of Daniel Defense, Marty explained that this year’s business climate marks the first return to quasi-normal market in quite some time. And this means his company will get the opportunity to prove to distributors and dealers alike that Daniel Defense AR-15s are more than a go-to product during panic buying seasons.
Here’s how Marty put it:
We built our first in 2009, and today we’re leading our market segment in brand awareness and customer recognition of our brand as the top brand. Interestingly enough, this has all taken place amid up and down cycles. In 2009 there was a cycle up and in 2010 there was a cycle down. In 2012 there was a cycle up and in 2013 and ’14 there was a cycle down. What I’m really hoping this year will be–and what I think it will be–is a normal year. And I’m excited about having a normal year because we can’t prove to our distributors and our dealers, or to the general public, how many of our guns we should be able to sell versus everybody else in a cycle where every gun by everybody sells no mater what. There have been times in some of these cycles where anyone could sell everything they could make.
A normal year is going to let us show our distributors and dealers what Daniel Defense can do in the market.
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