It started when Mike Noell’s pack failed while he was afield.
A hunter might react to such an incident by vowing to never buy that brand of pack again. But since Noell was a Navy SEAL, in a minefield in 1990, when his pack failed, he vowed that if he made it out of that precarious situation alive he’d make gear the right way for his fellow soldiers and others.
As many gun owners know, Noell has done that and more.
His company, Blackhawk!, is a 125-employee company that creates injection-molded holsters, along with all of the company’s injection-molded accessories. (Yes, that’s a lot of plastic, but fear not—at least 92 percent of the leftover plastic gets recycled.)
I recently went on a factory tour of the company, which makes 4,000-plus variations of holsters, carry bags, and more yearly. I went because I wanted to see how some of my favorite gun accessories are made and designed. I found more than I ever expected at the busy plant in Manhattan, Montana. Here’s what I saw and learned: