The III Arms Company is a burgeoning firearms manufacturer and was founded by a small group of real American Patriots. I recently had the opportunity to interview Jim Miller, the CEO of III Arms.
I’ve been around firearms all my life. My father was a coal miner but made his name as a gunsmith and fix-it guy. I got a little bit of both. I started doing things like cleaning firearms, small stuff that Dad would let me do while he took care of the big stuff. Always had my hands on firearms. Spent many a rainy day pulling the lever on the reloading presses, sunny days sighting in hunting rifles while dad ran the shop. Progressed into just about all aspects of the finer end of ‘smithing, chambering barrel blanks, hand lapping barrels, stoning triggers, hand checkering stocks… things any kid can do at that age. (Laughs.) Learned about M16s at around 14 or so. Few ended up coming through dad’s shop, amazing looking space rifles to me at that time, always liked to pull the pieces out of them. Loved the easy in/easy out design, modular, even before modular became cool. Going in the military in the early 80’s took me away from firearms for the most part, but back into them heavily in the late 90’s once I got out. Been hands on ever since. Just something about guns… I think it’s in my DNA. Enough Hoppe’s #9 fumes do that to you! (Laughs.)
I’d have to say it’s been the right people in the right place at the right time. I met some folks at the Liberty Summit in Mercer, PA earlier this year. It was a last minute decision for all of us to attend. Thirty seconds either way, decision-wise, I don’t think we’d have met that weekend. I’d heard of them, read their writings, but finally got to meet them. We had an idea, knew what needed to happen, but didn’t know exactly how to get there. Something clicked, that ‘Hey, we’re both supposed to be doing something to make a difference’ feeling. They know how put a point across with undeniable clarity, know people, business and marketing, I know firearms. It just fit. Knowing that it takes more than just speeches and blogs to secure Liberty, knowing that it will eventually require the ‘tools of the trade’. It was easy to come to the conclusion that we needed the right tools: the ‘fighting arms’ that do what they’re designed to do every time you need them do it.
Why were you chosen to head up the magic at III Arms Company?
Why me? They asked if I wanted the spot of gun boss, hand the idea over to me to run with. Who’s going to turn down a chance like that? Seriously? Finding your dream job, being able to help fellow Patriots AND building some quality tools to assist them should we ever need to march to our own Green? Pinch me!
We’ve been blessed with the right people in the right place at the right time. We have a concept, the people just appear to make that concept a reality. We need a web guy, he shows up. We need a marketing person, they showed up. A person in the general area we’re moving to, boots on the ground, they appear! We’ve got several firearm trained machinists just waiting for the ‘go’ signal once we’re ready for them. People in the industry wanting to help as soon as we ask them. Support from the Patriot community, we asked and they delivered. They were willing to run with the dream, and run they did. In a few short months we went from concept to reality. Magic? Yeah, you could call it that.
III Arms is planning to move west. Why Idaho?
We had asked our fellow Patriots where would be a good location to direct our focus for our Pioneer Project, what The Citadel was referred to at that point. We ultimately chose Idaho as that place to put our roots. There are many reasons why Idaho came up the winner. Population density. Lines of drift in regards to population migration if the SHTF. Land availability in the acreage we’re going to need to complete The Citadel project. The going trend from Idaho itself in recruiting firearms related businesses into the state. Mr. Rawles of Survival Blog dubbed the area the “American Redoubt” and considers it a great area for a free people to live. Moderate climate. Amazing agricultural and biological diversity. Large selection of natural resources. Solidly independent and intelligent, freedom-oriented people. All around great place to settle down. When you add them all up, it’s hard to imagine a better location.
What makes III Arms different from any other firearms manufacturer?
Our position is that as Patriots, our tools for maintaining Liberty should be made by Patriots. People with a vested interest in the mission, not just a corporate sale or line item on a marketing chart from XYZ Company. People who believe in the common sense self policing lifestyle that is made possible by being free to act by yourself within the limits drawn around you by the equal rights of others. That common sense freedom to choose is what drives a person to produce the best he can. We already have those people and we’re attracting more daily. They are everywhere. We are everywhere.
III Arms builds both an AR-15 and 1911; and you refer to them as “fighting arms”. Describe that concept.
The AR has been called America’s Rifle and the 1911 needs no introduction anywhere on this planet. These are American icons. Their shape, their purpose, nothing about them can be misconstrued as anything other than what they are. The concept of ‘fighting arms’ is that ‘go to’ rifle and pistol that you know will bring you home from the battle if and when you are forced to fight it. No questions, no suggestions, just pure function of machine and man. That rifle and pistol that are made not as a wall hanger, a safe queen or trunk junk, but the tools that you always turn to for getting the job done right the first time. Our Armed Forces know their lives depend on their firearms, just as a carpenter relies on his tools to get the job done. Why should a citizen have to settle for anything less in the protection of their own ‘battle-space’? They don’t. Our rifles and pistols can be reached for during times of need without a second thought at to whether or not they’ll do what they’re intended to do: help good people stop bad people from doing bad things.
III Arms is big on Captain John Parker. What about him inspires your efforts at III Arms?
Captain Parker was an average guy, trying to live life without the boot of the government at that time on his neck, or on that of his family or friends. When that time came, he and close to 80 of his friends and acquaintances drew their line in the sand. He knew that the British wouldn’t stop unless someone put their foot down. He was dying of tuberculosis and died of it 5 months later. He didn’t want to fight that day – I’m quite sure none of them did – but they had been pushed enough and refused to back down. The British fired first and the rest is history. It’s a parallel course that we’re on now. Our current government is pushing, pushing and pushing. They’re refusing to listen to common sense and reason, refusing to let us live our lives, refusing us the Liberty that God grants us as men. Eventually, that line will be crossed and that shot will be fired. Getting the rifles and pistols into the hands of those who will make that stand with us when the time comes, that is our mission: To provide the tools to ensure Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness as well as ensure domestic tranquility.
Early American colonies required each home or fighting aged male to own a serviceable firearm; and gun ownership was once a federal law under the Militia Acts of 1792. Over the past 200 years, we’ve really lost the idea that it’s our “duty” to own fighting arms but that feeling is quickly returning. Why is that?
There has been a major cultural shift over the last decade. Where firearms were once commonly viewed as somehow evil in and of themselves, they are now much more often viewed simply as a valuable tool. This change in perception and public opinion isn’t universal, however, it has been enough that citizens can make the decision to purchase a firearm based on need without worrying so much about social disapproval. That need is, unfortunately, becoming more and more apparent based on the actions of both the criminal element, law ‘enforcement’ and our own government…but I repeat myself. Cases like Warren v District of Columbia have let it be known that the LEO’s aren’t there for your protection, and you don’t get protection if they don’t want to give it. Literally “protect yourself, we ain’t helping”. District of Columbia vs. Heller affirmed that being armed is an individual right. McDonald v. Chicago cemented that as well. It’s getting to be almost ‘cool’ to be a gun guy or gal these days!
What are some of you goals for III Arms for 2013 and beyond? Where do you see yourself and III Arms in five years?
In 2013 we hope to bring much of our production in house in Idaho. Idaho production will provide primary jobs with the company as well as jobs in supporting businesses, such as construction. This will reduce expenses and let us begin the process of building The Citadel.
III Arms is to be the core economic engine for The Citadel. If you read John Robb, local production of food, water and energy are stressed. The thing he adds that is often overlooked is the need to manufacture goods locally, not just be consumers. III Arms manufactures a product with a national market and so will not be solely dependent on the local economy, an important factor in resilience.
Longer term (5 years) we see increased production and sales of our initial products as well as expanding our offerings to include a bolt action .308, and a line of III Arms ammunition, among other things currently on the table. III Arms will still be a major core business in The Citadel but others will have joined us once the basic concept has been demonstrated and infrastructure is in place.
Where can Patriots and gun enthusiasts go to learn more and order your fighting arms?
III Arms Company. Buy one of each! (Laughs.)