BIGFORK - Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen traveled to Flathead County Thursday to get a first-hand look at Shield Arms, a firearms and accessory manufacturing company in Bigfork.
“It’s great to be up here and see companies like Shield Arms being so successful in Montana,” said Knudsen.
Products are flying out the doors at Shield Arms as orders keep coming in.
“We’re a firearms and accessory manufacturing company so, we work in the AR, Glock, pamer pistol kind of space,” said Shield Arms co-owner Seth Berglee.
The Bigfork business started in a barn back in 2017 specializing in a magazine extension for Glock pistols.
“The factory magazine holds 10, ours is redesigned, holds 15 in the same footprint and that’s really been what’s fueled a lot of this growth,” added Berglee.
The company which started with just two employees — co-owners Seth Berglee and Brandon Zeider — now employ more than 40 workers and are hoping to add to that number.
“There’s multiple positions we need to hire for pretty much across the board, whether that’s finance, customer service, operations, firearms assemble, we just don’t really have any room, we’ve got multiple people in every office, we kicked Brandon out of his office, so he has to live in the breakroom right now." - Shield Arms co-owner Seth Berglee
Berglee said they’re in the process of constructing three new buildings on their property to keep up with continued growth.
“We’re in a good space in terms of innovation and product that people want so, we’re trying to expand our capabilities to keep up,” said Berglee.
Berglee said the square footage of the three new buildings will more than triple their existing space.
“The building on the other side will be a machine shop so we machine some of our stuff in-house, we want to expand that so that we’re not at the mercy of other machine shops," added Berglee.
Knudsen said he owns Shield Arms products, he wanted to get a first-hand look at this growing Montana business.
“When you look at where Brandon and Seth started just a handful of years ago working out of a barn building and here they are not even five years later, they’re building multi-10,000, 20,000, 30,000 square foot buildings and they’re employing over 40 people in the Flathead Valley, this is just a fantastic Montana success story." - Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen
Berglee said Shield Arms is proud to call Bigfork home, creating jobs for Montanan’s.
“This isn’t about just making money, if it was, we wouldn’t be building buildings in very uncertain times to expand our employee footprint, we would just stay where we are, make our money, and go home, do whatever, but I think it’s important to try and expand that and give more to the market but also provide good jobs and a good work environment,” Berglee concluded.
WATCH - Shield Arms co-owner Seth Berglee discusses the company's growth: