One of the largest ammunition makers in the country detailed how they have expanded to increase the production of ammo and components in the past 18 months.

Jason Vanderbrink, president of ammunition for Vista Outdoor, which includes the Federal, CCI, Speer, and Remington brands, detailed in a video released this week that the company has made about 40 percent more ammo than typical since the current surge began. This has come from adding both capacity and employees. 

"When you talk about what we’ve been through since the surge in demand started, we’ve added about 1,500 new employees," said Vanderbrink. "As you all know it’s hard to find employees today, so adding 1,500 employees in 18 months is certainly a humongous task, and then we have to train those employees. But it’s safe to say we’re certainly helping the economy out in the manufacturing sector in America."

Without delivering hard figures, the Vista ammo boss said the company has produced "hundreds of millions" of extra primers and rounds of ammunition for the commercial market. He also detailed the successful acquisition of Remington Outdoor's ammo business and factory in Lonoke, Arkansas, as well as moving the HEVI Shot brand in Sweet Home, Oregon, under the Vista umbrella.

"The Remington brand was going through financial difficulties so it wasn’t putting much ammunition out,” he said. "We got the Remington brand up and going really quickly so that’s helping alleviate that."

He also addressed rumors that the company had curbed sales to the commercial market in favor of LE and military contracts, chatter Vanderbrink said was misplaced. 

"Another question we get asked is, 'You’re just selling all of your ammunition to the government.' That’s not the case. We are selling and shipping our ammunition to the same customers that we always have. I do think it’s extremely important to say with all the rhetoric around defunding the police, we defend the police. Some of our ammunition goes to law enforcement and it is our obligation to keep supporting law enforcement."

He also pointed out the American gun industry has added at least 12 million new users, and how that plays into the greater firearms community. 

"We need to embrace those new users. We need to take kids hunting. We need to take kids shooting. Embrace the new demographic that we have so our industry is here so our kids and their kids can enjoy the best sport in the world. We also have an obligation to support the organizations who support the Second Amendment. It doesn’t matter what organization that you choose, we have to stay together. And by supporting the new users, supporting youth shooting, supporting hunting, supporting the Second Amendment, we are ready to keep the momentum going."

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