Now that we’re two weeks into 2015, I figure it’s a good time to review everything that has happened in 2014. I don’t normally do those year-in-review posts but I figure that so much happened in this year alone that it’s worth writing about, if solely to help myself remember what happened.
Going back through my Facebook posts to see if I could jumpstart my brain on the beginning of 2014, we had just released the prototype pics of the LWMR AR15 handguard, and we were getting ready for SHOT Show 2014.
Last year’s SHOT Show marked a big change for both Erica and I as well as the direction of Allstar Tactical. We met a huge amount of great people in the industry and made some great contacts. It was the first time we were able to have a booth at the show.
We also released our flash hider, the CorkScrew at the show, along with having some of our rifles and products on display. Much of the instagram community used our booth as a home base for meeting up with others from social media. It was also the first time we decided to co-host a party with our good friend over at Fight Soap. It was a small soiree that we were able to form some great bonds with others in social media, aka the #igmilitia.
Early February came along, and I had been invited by Rob Pincus to attend his Combat Focus Shooting Instructor Development course. This course, which I passed with flying colors, was followed up directly by a trip to Lakewood, MN to attend a Gander Mountain Firearms Expo, where I would also film my first Personal Defense Network DVD, DIY AR15 Build. I also continued to attend and teach seminars for Gander Mountain throughout the rest of the year.
Throughout this whole first quarter of 2014, I was in my second semester of the Precision Machining program at Monroe Community College, which I had signed up for in order to better my skills with my Haas CNC machine, purchased a year prior.
It was early April, when I decided to completely rebrand this website and myself into Inked Up GunFighter. The entire site was revamped and I decided that I wanted to be more involved personally in the firearms industry as well as the engineering industry. Despite some static from the branding choice, I pushed through with the branding and started to move forward on many projects, some of which have been published on here, and some which are still in the works.
Shortly after this site was rebranded, I finalized the legal paperwork to transfer my old company, Technotic Media, over to my wife, Erica. Since then, she has done an incredible job at running Technotic Media, and it’s most important “product,” StickNoEvil.com. TM has been growing and SNE has been offering a great service to businesses who need stickers and graphics for marketing. She fits right in and her company is also the parent company to NYFirearms.com and some new ventures coming out soon!
Summer for me was fairly low key with working on different projects for the businesses as well as developing some great relationships with companies that I represent, Fight Soap, Dopesett, Risktakers, and Pipe Hitters Union, to name a few. I worked on getting some new videos edited, completed and posted up to my YouTube page. I also produced a video for MOTUS and their 666 drill which will hopefully be released very shortly!!
I also had a great deal of correspondence with one of my mentors, Rob Pincus, which truly started to help shape where I wanted my career in the firearms industry to go and what I wanted to accomplish. Even though we had our disagreements, I believe that much of the information I have learned from him has been an invaluable addition to my knowledge.
September, I had a great opportunity to attend Long Gun Training‘s Precision Rifle 101 class, using our AT7 prototype rifle. It was a great experience and certainly opened up my interested in bolt guns and precision shooting.
September also was the when we released our HEXCON1 compensator. This marked a big change finally for us at Allstar. This product was the first product to be designed, machined, tested, and released completely in-house. It has been selling great and I truly believe that it is one of the best 3Gun-style compensators on the market.
October was quite fun where I had a chance to attend the IV8888 YouTube Shoot in Atlanta, GA, and the Dopesett/Sickguns Trigger Treat event. Both events were great and certainly contributed to some of the great relationships that I have in the firearms community now.
The rest of the year whipped by ridiculously fast, from finishing up the rest of my Precision Machining A.A.S. degree at MCC (which I still need to apply to finalize the graduation) to releasing the SAFEMOD product at AT. My year pretty much finished out with me starting a new job as Lead Design Engineer for Legendary Auto Interiors in Newark, NY. I really enjoy working with the team there and working with their CNC Router, Waterjet and CNC Mill.
With 2014 in the bag, and 2015 already off to a great start, I can only begin to imagine what will be accomplished this year!
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ~ Winston Churchill