Primary Machine: How did we come to exist?

Something that we're often asked: How did you guys come to do what you do? Well, if you've got some time to spare, we'd like to tell you.

Ryan, the owner of Primary Machine started this company the same way a lot of great American companies are started. By busting his ass. Nothing was given to him. After working at local machine shops for years and learning everything from multi axis machining and programming, to QC and CMM certifications, he decided it was time to make the jump and start something he could call his own. In 2012 the company was born with no name, a small drill press, and a small table top lathe. The company was in no place to be a full-time situation, so Ryan began working as a machine tech for a local company that repaired CNC's and manual machines on the road. Day in and day out he worked for 10-12 hours a day there, then by night he went to job two - Primary Machine. After 2 years of working essentially two jobs and 16+ hours a day, he was able to move into Primary Machine's current location and buy our first CNC, a Haas VF-3. A bigger shop and CNC capabilities opened up new opportunities to grow.

The first big opportunity was a vape company looking to get 500 custom vape boxes a month which were comprised of several components machined. It was quickly apparent that one man and one CNC mill could not keep up with the production demands. Thus, Primary Machine's first ever employee was hired and hey - we even convinced a bank to give us a few pennies for our second mill - a Haas VF-4. Things went smoothly on this vaping adventure for a while. All until once upon a day the news was received that this whole vaping endeavor was a done deal out of the blue. Apparently Chinese vaporizers had made their way to the market and was putting a real hurting on American made companies.

With bills to pay and an employee who still counted on a paycheck every week, Ryan began adding a clientele of oil & gas industry customers. Again, a venture which didn't last long. The gulf region oil & gas industry went to hell in a hand basket. I (Bruce), had been telling Ryan for some time that perhaps we should venture in the firearm industry. All this time, I had been working a boring 8-5 job as a salesman in the oil & gas industry. Not only was I miserable, but with the industry on a massive decline, I knew it was only a matter of time before I had to find something else to do to pay my bills and provide for my wife and kids. Before we had time to even think seriously about it I was laid off. And scared out of my mind. My only job experience was in an industry in which companies were only doing one thing: laying off. When Ryan found out I was laid off, he didn't think twice about offering me a job. Primary Machine was in no position to hire another employee. We didn't know how the hell we were going to keep things going as it was with the oil & gas industry in the state it was, but he took a chance and hired me anyway. We came to the conclusion that it was now or never to make this whole firearm industry thing work. Just like that, Primary Machine as it's known today was born.

While we kept going with what little oil & gas work we were still getting, we acquired our FFL and Ryan basically told me "the firearm end of this is your baby." I had what I thought was a good grasp of the industry and how to go about growing the company - but I had absolutely no idea how hard it would truly be. Trying to become a relevant name in an industry so flooded by both huge names and not so huge names; how the hell could we break through the noise? The only two things we absolutely knew for sure we could deliver were: amazing customer service and amazing product quality. That was, and still is to this day, the foundation of Primary Machine and what got us where we are this far. Our customer service and quality is second to absolutely NO ONE in this industry. Having a background in production along with the experience of machining such a wide range of parts, materials, etc. has allowed us to shine in ways other companies in the industry can't. Why doesn't our slide work cost 2-3X what some of our competitors do? Simple. We know what we're doing. We know how fast to turn our tooling to get all the life we can out of it. We know how fast to feed given the material being machined. We know proper manufacturing techniques to get the best production through our shop. We know what steps to take to ensure our customer gets their slide back and it doesn't look like it was machined with tooling that should have been replaced 10 slides ago. (No, seriously. We see things like this often with our competitors.) ALL of this benefits our customer by being able to give them a product better than the rest at a reasonable price point.

Basing everything on that, Primary Machine has grown into a beast we never, ever thought imaginable. We now have 5 CNC's, an in house Cerakote department, and bad ass employees that make the whole crazy thing go 'round. We will continue to grow Primary Machine into a brand that when heard, will always make one think of those two basic things we were built upon: customer service and top-quality products and services.

Thank you for reading and most of all - thank you for your support!

Sep 7th 2018 Bruce

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