The owner of Houlding Precision Firearms comes from a long line of Madera farmers. But now he's set his sights on a new goal, and is hoping it pays off for his family and his city.
"What we make is the ar-15s. We manufacture them right here," said Todd Houlding. "We machine the receivers out of billet aluminum. So we make this upper receiver, the lower receiver."
Houlding uses two computer programs to design the rifle parts before this machine sculpts solid aluminum blocks into the finished product. Each of the custom pieces is engraved with a bee logo based on his late grandfather's World War II bomber group, as well as an American flag on the trigger guard, and Madera, Ca.
Todd Houlding said, "We make a high precision, high quality product that we feel can compete with the best of what's out there right now."
It's a labor of love for this longtime hunter and shooter. He spent years running a machine shop at a building on Falcon Drive before starting to make his own guns. And just this week, his family enjoyed a huge turnout for the official grand opening of Houlding Precision Firearms.
Stephanie Houlding said, "We're overwhelmed and honored by how many people turned out, how much support we've had from the community, it's been incredible."
The Houldings are optimistic the new venture will succeed despite the tough economy. Their goal is to become a nationally recognized brand, and hire more help as the business expands.
Bobby Kahn with the Madera Co. Economic Dev. Commission said, "We're really proud to see young local people like this use their entrepreneurial spirit and true economic gardening like this in that it creates new jobs in the community."
The Houldings know guns themselves can be controversial, but they're hoping these made in Madera products continue to draw a positive response.
Houlding Precision Firearms also sells a variety of other weapons, including handguns, tasers, and pepper spray.