Will Hayden: Why the Red Jacket AR-15 is a Success Story

Will Hayden: Why the Red Jacket AR-15 is a Success Story

I know most of y'all have already watched the newest episode of "Sons of Guns" on Discovery earlier this week. We're glad to be back on the air and look forward to this next season. But while we love doing the show, the whole point of this blog is to bring you things you haven't seen on Discovery. This is an inside look at what Red Jacket does and how our business is changing. We know that the real gun guys and manufacturers can appreciate the challenges we face every single day.

What you saw at the end of the last season   — and bear in mind, they are so far behind our reality with the airing of the TV show — was the transition from a custom production shop to a mainline manufacturing entity with the introduction of the Red Jacket KMP-DI Direct Impingement AR-15.

From financing to facilities, we've had to make some hard choices. We're determined to maintain a custom shop  (which is our heart and soul), to grow the research and development aspect of the company (which fuels the innovation which will take us into the future) and while doing this we will be getting our AR-15 line and 1911s on shelves of gun stores in every city in this nation.

We went at this thing hard and it's probably no news by now to say that we're on the shelf in every Academy Sports outlet in the country. And I assure you we're just getting started. We're rolling up a "stocking dealer" program that should have our ARs and 1911s on the shelves for the fall season at your local gun stores. This was a major step for Academy (shelf space at a gun store is the hardest to get in the retail world) and it's hard to express our gratitude for the opportunity to show them both our manufacturing capability as well as our market reach. That they sold out of their initial inventory in all 136 stores within 30 hours. We can safely say that this was an unprecedented success.


The RJF KMP-DI 5.56mm, our direct impingement carbine, is our baby. We made sure all internals meet and exceed all Mil-Spec requirements. Each is individually MPI and HPT (high pressure tested) and certified as such. Every bolt is equipped with an extreme duty extractor and spring set. The bolt is fully stress relieved and surface hardened. The above and the Mil-Spec M-16 carrier provide the smoothest action and utmost reliability. The carrier is hard chromed inside and houses a hard chrome firing pin.


The internals are phosphate coated and properly staked to ensure a long life. We apply the RJF logo on several different areas to show you our pride in our components. The upper and lower receivers are forged from 7075-T6 aluminum, equipped with a either a 1/7 twist rate M4 profile chrome-lined barrel, or a match grade 1/7 stainless barrel, fluted for stiffness and superior accuracy. Our RJF suppressor flash hider is installed and externally threaded to accept any of the RJF suppressor line. Our relationship with Magpul allows us to competitively round the gun out with a whole array of Magpul goodies, from their CTR stock and MOE furniture to the latest MBUS site.

We took great care and time in giving the market a full-featured gun from the start with the utmost reliability and our rock solid lifetime warranty! We think this gun is built to set a higher bar in this marketplace. The whole thing was a big gamble for our company and really for Academy. The Discovery Channel show gives the impression of a small shop doing basically just R&D work; it's almost like just three or four of us work for Red Jacket. That's not the case, though we certainly understand why it's set up that way.

The show has done great things for us, but our story didn't start and certainly won't end with "Sons of Guns." We're glad the show's doing so well and plan to keep it going for a long time to come. And first chance you get, be sure to check out our new RJF AR-15 and tell us what you think. We'll see you next week.

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