Thursday, April 20, 2017

In News That I Missed, The Sky Is Falling

Actually, in the news I missed from last week, SCCY Industries is moving from Florida to the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee.

From the Daily Times in Maryville, TN:
A Florida handgun manufacturer has reached an agreement with Blount Partnership to bring more than 350 jobs to Blount County with an initial $22.5 million investment, constructing a 150,000-square-foot campus to house corporate, research and development and manufacturing facilities.

SCCY Industries LLC — which company President Wayne Holt said is “probably the fastest growing semi-automatic handgun manufacturer in the United States”— also voiced plans Wednesday to move the company’s headquarters from Daytona Beach to the 68-acre lot in Big Springs Industrial Park.

SCCY founder and CEO Joe Roebuck said during today’s announcement that SCCY needs to expand and it’s “not happening” at its current location in Daytona Beach, Fla., where it employs about 200 people. “We’re at about 40,000 square feet and there’s no room to grow,” Roebuck said, explaining that the biggest problem the manufacturer has there is space and electricity.

Roebuck said his original plan was to expand here, but decided, “Tennessee’s been so great. We’ve got a big piece of land. I’m gonna do it all there.”

“I’m gonna keep a small footprint back in Florida, but I’m moving my headquarters here,” Roebuck said, later explaining, “It’s only going to be an office — maybe some engineering. Ninety-nine percent of the company is coming up here.”

Roebuck also said the estimated employment of 350 people is “very conservative.”
And in something that Michael Bane would appreciate, the story at the link above also included a video of his visit to the SCCY factory in Florida.

The Knoxville News Sentinel produced this video clip of the highlights of the story. They also included this about CEO Joe Roebuck's expansion plans.
Roebuck employs about 200 in his Florida factory, but plans to move only “a few key people,” maybe a half-dozen, to Tennessee as he gradually shuts down the Daytona Beach facility, he said.

Roebuck said he hopes to start construction on a 75,000-square-foot plant late this year or early next, and begin production in mid- to late 2018. Initially, it will have about 200 employees, hired locally, and SCCY will add 50 to 60 people per year for the following three years, he said.

"Anything from office work to machine operator all the way up to high-level administrator” will be hired, Roebuck said. He also intends to start a paid four-year apprenticeship program.

Roebuck plans a campus of five industrial buildings, plus a “sky lodge” to house visiting industry leaders and gun writers, with an outdoor shooting range, he said.
Given I live on the other side of the Smokies, I think this is a very interesting development. I can see why he picked the the Tennessee side rather than here in North Carolina - no income tax, less expensive land, a (somewhat) Republican governor, and a stronger industrial base than in the Asheville area. With some luck, maybe we'll see a blogger shoot put on by SCCY Industries similar to what did back in 2011. That would be cool.


  1. Fascinating business plan and ability to stay the course! When I went to the factory, instead of getting the executive tour, I was turned over to the Quality Control Manager and he was instructed to give me any information I wanted. We had a profoundly boring conversation on materials management and resource planning (not in the SHOOTING GALLERY episode, because I wanted people to watch it! LOL!), followed by a long stint in the tool room discussing the pros and cons of proprietary tools for the CNCs (also not in the show, but I LOVE that stuff). We went to great lengths on the ability to handle round stock versus hex or square stock, then on the challenges of building magazines in house. I takes a lot of confidence to let me "run free" in a factory, because I have a very good background in current manufacturing structure and technique, and I know what I'm looking at.

  2. As a hobby machinist, I geek out over the stuff in that factory tour video from Shooting Gallery. Their work holding and fixturing is something I struggle with regularly, including today. His offhand way of saying they routinely machine to "3tenths" is 3 ten-thousandths of an inch, .0003. That is mind-boggling cool. A little detail that isn't in there is springs. Do they make every spring or farm them out?

    As a Floridian, I'm sorry to see them go. They're an hour and a half away, so not easy to ask if I could get the tour. On the other hand KelTec is more like minutes away and I haven't managed to ask them either.