The winner of the 2015 Golden Bullseye Pioneer Award is Lewis Danielson, chairman of the board and founder of Crimson Trace Corp. Danielson’s company pioneered the firearm-mounted laser business, introduced the word “lasergrip” into the lexicon of the shooting sports and remains the leader in its field.
Where others tried and gave up on handgun-mounted lasers, Danielson saw the potential and persisted in the development of a working model with instinctive activation. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Oregon State University (which subsequently inducted him into its Engineering Hall of Fame), Danielson worked in the steel industry, then on agricultural machinery before moving on to engineering and prototype services. During the day, Danielson made parts for the aerospace industry; on nights and weekends he worked, often without pay, on an idea that would change the firearm industry.
Crimson Trace started in 1994, and at his first NRA Annual Meetings, Danielson and one other employee boldly manned a card table. A table that was mobbed. As handgun design changed, so did Crimson Trace. While the M1911 and Ruger Mk II were ideally suited to Lasergrips, Danielson and his engineers devised ways to put their product on polymer-frame guns, then invented the innovative Laserguard that clamshells around a pistol’s trigger guard. Crimson Trace is also in the gun-mounted-light business with its Lightguard series, and has products for long guns as well, including the Rail Master Series and MVF-515.
Lewis Danielson is a proud patriot, a man who steadfastly employs American workers and one with a strong passion for Second Amendment-protected freedoms. As is the case with all Crimson Trace employees, he is a staunch NRA member and is a longtime supporter of the National Rifle Association.