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Straight Jacket Armory – Growing a Startup

With the help of: Manufacturing Works


Straight Jacket Armory is a custom firearms manufacturer that designs and manufactures some of the most sought after custom rifles on the market today, along with providing an array of gunsmithing services. Straight Jacket Armory takes a unique approach to custom builds, which begins with their founder Nick Arnold’s 35-plus years of experience working in the firearms industry and as a competitive shooter. His strong relationship with other shooting industry partners is at the core of the business’s philosophy. They tailor each model to help meet the customer’s optimum shooting experience.

The Challenge

The first few years of a start-up business are the most crucial to survival. Even with innovative new technology, establishing a repeat customer base can be very difficult. In 2018, Straight Jacket Armory began finding customers willing to make orders, mostly on personal relationships, which then began to snowball into a bigger and bigger customer base. While trying to keep the business thriving and vibrant, the effects of the pandemic made revenue and customer generation very difficult while drastically altering the supply chain. Senior management now had to spend a significant amount of time trying to source components, typically found at a premium, to maintain existing customer orders. This made it difficult to survive and nearly impossible to have the cash flow for growth. Straight Jacket Armory engaged Manufacturing Works (MW), part of the MEP National Network™, to aid in providing the management and leadership support needed.

It's great to work with Manufacturing Works-Wyoming, an organization that took time to first find us and seek us out and then learn about our business and understand our culture to better support our requirements. This is our first exposure to Manufacturing Works consulting, and we will continue to use them as a force multiplier that produces intuitively positive solutions to challenging problems that produce mission success. Today, my company is growing, much stronger and works better as a team. The value that Manufacturing Works and their consultants provided is highly valued and as such we continue to work with them. This is a tremendous asset for the state, especially for the rural small manufacturers.
— Tisten Arnold, Co-Owner

MEP's Role

After gaining an understanding of some of the challenges Straight Jacket Armory faced, MW and Tristen Arnold, the owner, laid down a plan for MW to provide a variety of consulting services. As a new client, MW took the time to fully understand the business and develop a road map to achieve long term goals. The plan moved forward with the owner's full support. In a short period, MW identified a source of capital that would allow Straight Jacket Armory to build up their inventory of components and re-leverage the relationship with their vendors for a steadier supply of long-lead items while expanding their product offerings.
Created August 4, 2021, Updated July 16, 2022