Firearms Manufacturers Step Up in Fight Against COVID-19

posted on July 19, 2020

The shooting industry has stepped up to help combat COVID-19, with multiple manufacturers changing lines to make protective equipment and others donating PPE to healthcare workers.

Our inventory of firearm-related companies that joined the fight against COVID-19 is far from complete. The list is long, grows by the day and reflects an industry-wide compassion that shines through the worst of storms, even when the challenges paralyze others in fear. With apologies to those we overlooked in the fight, here’s an abbreviated look at a few early members in this all-volunteer army.

It starts with some industry legends. Smith & Wesson donated 10,000 sets of eye protection to the Baystate Health medical centers and N95 masks to the Springfield, MA, Police Department. Rather than let Remington’s machinery remain idle during the health-mandated closure order in Ilion, NY, the company offered its 1 million square feet of space and equipment to the effort. 

“We would be honored to donate our facility to the production of ventilators, surgical masks, hospital beds or any other products mission-critical to the war on coronavirus,” Ken D’Arcy, Remington CEO wrote in a letter to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and President Donald Trump.

Federal Ammunition donated N95 respirator masks to a pair of health care facilities—Mercy Hospital and Cambridge Medical Center. Both are located near the company’s Anoka, MN, headquarters. 

Brownells provided computer server time to [email protected], an international effort to understand the molecular structure of COVID-19 and defeat it. “Our IT team learned about the [email protected] project and their work using computer modeling to better understand the molecular and protein structure of the virus,” said Brownells IT Director Curt Graff. “We are committed to helping protect our country by virtue of our personal protection and sustainability products, but we see this as a way to support the international community in a time of significant need.”

Beretta switched its Italian facility from production of 3D printed firearm and accessory prototypes to make emergency respiratory masks. The effort will continue until supplies are sufficient to handle patient load. 

Versacarry converted its equipment to manufacture face shields and face masks. Its peak production was expected to reach 20,000 units a week. 

Radians, a manufacturer of PPE and quality safety eyewear and hearing protection, donated more than 14,000 N95 masks to its hometown Memphis, TN. “We’re thankful for our first responders and glad that Radians can lend a helping hand during the crisis,” said Wes Miller, director of sales for Radians’ sporting goods channel. 

Otis Technology partnered with Saint Lawrence Spirits to make, bottle and distribute hand sanitizer to first responders. In addition, the company began using its facilities—that normally manufacture firearm cleaning and maintenance equipment—to produce PPE supplies. Cole-TAC, Blue Alpha Gear and Mystery Ranch shifted production to face masks. Primary Arms donated 7,000 gloves to local law enforcement. 

Protective equipment was not the exclusive focus, either. CMMG provided free lunches to first responders in Booneville, MO, until social-distancing guidelines forced closure. “In times like these, we get through things by supporting our neighbors and serving each other,” said Chris Reinkemeyer, CEO of CMMG.


riflescope facing right
riflescope facing right

First Look: Zeiss LRP S5 FFP Riflescope

Zeiss recently announced the launch of the new LRP S5 series of first-focal-plane riflescopes.

Review: Zev Technologies Core Duty Rifle

Zev Technologies has steadily increased its footprint in the firearm industry. Best known for placing its unique design spins on components for the most popular Glock and SIG Sauer pistols, this Centralia, WA-based company is also in the AR market.

First Look: Birchwood Casey 36-Inch Single Gun Case

Birchwood Casey is known for their targets and shooting support gear, and now they have just released a soft-padded case ideally suited for AR-15 and AK-pattern rifles, called the Single Gun Case 36 Inch.

I Carry: IWI Masada 9 mm Pistol in a KSG Armory Holster

In today's episode of "I Carry,"we have an IWI Masada 9 mm pistol with a Meprolight MicroRDS red-dot sight in a KSG Armory holster.

What is the Greatest Defensive Skill?

You can say what you want to about your favorite defensive school or those advanced-fighting techniques you learned, but the greatest defensive skill that a person can develop is simply awareness. I will freely admit that developing effective awareness is anything but simple, but being able to spot trouble before it is close enough to get in your face will certainly save you from a lot of trouble and possibly even some pain and grief.

Fightin' Iron: The Guns of George Mathews

Sometimes, custom gunsmiths don’t get credit where credit is due.


Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.