Firearms have always been an important part of the American experience. From the very beginning of this country, the right to bear arms has been held close.
Today people continue that passion. In more modern times, technology has produced firearms that our forefathers might barely recognize. They’re bigger, and smaller, way more powerful and accurate.
These highly evolved 21st Century rifles and handguns are what Buck Holly, owner of C&H Precision Weapons, considers his calling. Weapons have always been a part of Buck’s life. He grew up hunting and trap and skeet shooting with his family, but his real introduction into the world of firearms came when he was a weapons instructor in the Marine Corps. He later worked for weapons contractors and is familiar with anything from tanks to rifles, he said.
Buck and his crew of craftsmen are a tight little group of people who share a passion for firearms: Dave Clark, Paul Grzenda and Chris Heinkel. Together, they have a total of some 70 years of experience in what they do.
Dave served 26 years in the Marine Corps. He can build a custom rifle in 8-10 weeks, a pistol in 1-2 weeks. He loves guns and loves “to create something.”
Machinist Paul Grzenda is proficient in manual and computer machining. C&H just got a new computerized machining - an HAAS CNC machine that will allow C&H to produce parts in-house that they formerly had to order from out of state.
“Hendry County is a great place to live and work, but in order to continue to grow we must bring in state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies as well train and retain the workers needed to run these machines,” Buck said. “This new equipment will allow us to expand our capabilities exponentially which will lead to more jobs and more new machines in the future.”
Part of Chris Heinkel’s job is to painstakingly apply cerakote ceramic clear coating to their weapons. A welder by trade, Chris is shop manager and took his hobby to the next level with this job. What he does takes a plain pistol and transforms it into a personalized weapon.
The four of them - Buck, Dave, Paul and Chris - share a passion for perfection as well as for guns.
Office manager Bailey Passmore rounds out the employee group.
The work C&H does is both cosmetic and functional, resulting in a unique and customer-designed weapon “that shoots as good as they think it should.”
Pistols are about 35 percent of their work. They can take a factory-made weapon and turn into something special. They work their magic with skill and experience and a dedication to workmanship according to the customer’s specifications.
Many of their customers are into competitive shooting, as are Buck and his family. In fact, he runs a shooting competition at the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office Gun Range every 45 days that attracts shooting enthusiasts from as far away as Tampa and Miami. The proceeds go to the sheriff’s office to help fund the range and for equipment, including a $2,000 lawnmower for the range.
Although Buck doesn’t live in Hendry County, he said he brought his business here because it’s perfect for his expertise and the county was very welcoming. The shooting competitions also bring people here to shop and enjoy the area.
Buck loves his job, but he said his most rewarding challenge is to teach precision shooting - teaching someone to use the science behind the shooting to put the bullet exactly where they want to. His wife, Megan, is also a pistol instructor and is a public relations specialist and marketer for the firearms industry. Buck has two sons and a four-year-old daughter, Noah. All are involved in the shooting sports. In fact, even little Noah shot a hog when she was just three.
C&H Precision Weapons is committed to excellence in weaponry and service to the customer. Of course, all customers buying a new weapon must undergo a background investigation. He said there is no way he would ever sell a weapon to someone he felt was not responsible.
The crew at C&H can create a weapon to your specifications no matter what you want - a unique, fully customized hand-built rifle or a weapon with a smoother, lighter trigger with less recoil - and a really cool paint job.
C&H Precision Weapons is located at 1080 Commerce Drive in LaBelle, call 674-0032 or go to www.chpws.com.