Three friends with a passion for hunting gathered around a small table after a duck hunt in 2017 in an old 1920s style house surrounded by porcelain rabbits in Hackberry Flats, Oklahoma.
Over some cold Miller Lites and a hot DiGiorno pizza, Jared Lewis, Nick Charney, and Jason Lonsberry began Apex Ammunition.
“I can remember it to this day — we were sitting at a small circular table with a porcelain bunny to my left … and this idea came along,” Lewis told the Columbus Rotary Club on Tuesday at Lion Hills Center.
Lewis is the company’s chief operating officer, and he served in the Army National Guard as an artillery officer where he learned about ballistics. With his training in field artillery, he used his expertise in the business they were beginning to create.
Though the company began in Oklahoma, its headquarters and a majority of its operations are in New Hope. Even with offers from other states like Kentucky to expand operations there, the three owners have no intentions to uproot the headquarters from the Golden Triangle. In fact, they are looking to expand operations with an additional facility in Columbus and double their Mississippi staff from 25 to 50.
“We’re expanding,” Lewis said. “We’re still in my dad’s backyard. We expanded from the original shop about a year and a half ago, and we’ve already outgrown that. We’re trying to expand now in the Lowndes County region. I’m a big supporter of Mississippi and Mississippi products. We don’t want to leave Mississippi, and we definitely don’t want to leave the county. This is where we’re going to make our home. … We’re not leaving.”