Q&A with F-1 Firearms
I really want a nice AR-15. So I started shopping. But with three kids and higher priorities in life, my philosophy on firearm purchases has always been “quality over quantity.” My wife and I agree on this, thankfully. So when I told her I would like to buy a high-end AR-15 starting at around $2000, she didn’t blink an eye. Just told me to do my research and find a good one.
I did a lot of research when I built the Ultimate AR-15 Link List post and I have spent a lot of time on each of those sites. I’ve also picked up a stack of magazines specific to the topic. I’ve read the reviews and decided what the minimum features were that I wanted; a very minimal AR, flat top, no built-in sights. I plan to get a small red dot or a reflex sight. I don’t need quad rails on the hand guard. I don’t plan to have a bunch of lights, lasers or grip. I want a 16″ threaded stainless steel barrel so that I can buy a silencer if I want. I want a nice trigger that is smoother than the stock one. I also want a billet upper and lower instead of forged. That isn’t asking too much right?!
Several of the manufactures offer everything I want and so I started making a short list with just those sites. Then I picked up a copy of Ballistic magazine it was the Summer 2016 issue. On the front cover was an incredible looking AR-15 that really impressed me. I read the article and just became more and more interested in it. The AR was made by F-1 Firearms. Honestly I had never heard of them. But found them for my prior post. Then I saw that they were based out of Spring, TX. For those who don’t know, Spring is a suburb of Houston, TX on the north west side and it’s really close to where I live.
After reading that article, my research focus turned to F-1 Firearms. What I found was damn impressive. This one small company produces 100% of the important parts of the rifle; the barrel, compensator, upper, lower and the bolt carrier group are all produced in house. Then they use high-end accessories — buttstock, grip, charging handle, and trigger for example — from third-party sellers to complete the build. After learning all this, I was sold on F-1 Firearms and their product. I’d found my AR-15. But I wanted to know more, so I contacted F-1 Firearms and requested an interview and a tour of their facilities. Unfortunately, they don’t do tours. But they did allow me to send a list of questions. Here is the result:
Q: Tell me the F-1 Firearms elevator speech. What would you say if you only had 30 seconds to tell a stranger about F-1 Firearms?
A: F-1 Firearms is the leading manufacturer of semi-automatic rifles and components out of Spring, TX. We utilize state-of-the-art machining combined with the best in industry materials and metals to produce cutting edge, precision based, weapons systems. Our rifles are extremely accurate, sub MOA, and hand finished so every customer can truly see first-hand the accuracy and quality. We stand behind and love our products so much, we offer a 100% product warranty for life on each and every F-1 firearm or component.
Q: How many competitive shooters do you sponsor? Who are they?
A: We sponsor 7 competitive shooters:
|Dennis “Lunchbox” Bechtel||?|
Q: When first designing your rifles, who did you think would be your biggest customer? Were you right, or has your biggest customer ended up being an entirely different group?
Q: Why are you Texas based?
A: We are Texas based because this is where the owner and founder lives and owns another business.
Q: What effect do you feel that another Democratic presidency will have on the gun trade? There is a lot of talk about gun control. How does that affect F-1 and/or the industry?
A: We feel that another democratic presidency will boost sales in the short term (6-9 months post-election) with a plateau 12-18 months out until new Democratic legislation is brought to vote. Instituting tighter Gun control and infringing on the second amendment will most certainly hurt the firearms industry. Luckily with our state-of-the-art machines, we can easily machine aerospace and healthcare products just as easily as firearms.
Q: Do you plan on chambering your rifles in additional calibers? If yes, which one is next?
A: We already produce rifles in 5.56 NATO, .300AAC, 7.62x39mm, .308 WIN, 6.5 Creedmoor. We do have a bolt action coming out soon that will tackle some different calibers.
Q: Have you been able to get one of your rifles into a television or movie yet? If so, which ones?
A: Our rifles have been on television (The Big Gun, Outdoor Channel) and we are actively going into the new Deathwish movie as well as the new Mr. Wick.
Q: Any Cinderella stories? Do you have anyone at F-1 Firearms that started out in a career field totally unrelated to firearms, and then end up in their dream job at F-1?
A: There are a few of us who started out in unrelated industries but we eventually all wound up here where our passion lives. We enjoy working at F-1 Firearms, we make some of the finest rifles on the planet, we have a great team, and every day is different. Its hard to beat that.
Q: What percentage of your customers are female?
A: We sell to a lot of females because of the weight reduction and very light recoil. I would say we sell to probably 25% women. However our social media following is nearly 95% men.
Q: Without giving away any proprietary information, will you tell us how rifles are made? What is the overall process? How do rough materials become a rifle? How long does it take? How many people are involved?
A: For the Chassis we start with raw 7075 T6 Aluminum Alloy that is machined down to a raw upper, lower, or handguard. They are then hand finished and media blasted. The next step is Anodizing. After Ano the parts are pulled for each build. All in all each rifle is touched by a minimum of 12 people in our process.
Thank you F-1 Firearms!
This is me with my brand new BDR-15-3G Billet Full Build Rifle.