PCC grads open gunsmithing operation

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As more and more people are getting into personal protection with firearms and purchasing new guns, it was only a matter of time before Caswell County-based range owners Clint Hilbert and Tomiko Cheek sought out the unique gunsmithing services of Rack It Back Armory, Inc., to provide on-site gun repair services for their members. “Almost everyone could use some help on cleanings or repairs to their firearms, so we figured it was a good idea to bring in a gunsmithing service to the range,” said Hilbert. “It’s our goal to be a full-service shooting range here at Distinguished Pistol Outdoor Shooting Range.”

Now open for business and co-located at the DP Range, Rack It Back Armory – RIBA for short, is independently owned and operated by two local gunsmiths (and former Marines), Sheridan Halfacre and Thomas Doyle. RIBA is a one-of-a-kind, true cooperative offering regional gunsmiths a place to do business, while at the same time providing direct access to customers needing gunsmithing work. RIBA is officially opening its doors for business this month, and with some additional coordination from Piedmont Community College, RIBA plans to host several student internships for graduating gunsmiths.

“Tom and I both graduated from PCC, and with our cooperative in place, we plan to support our college by offering a place where other students can learn to navigate the trade, and become self-starters,” said Halfacre. Doyle expanded on Halfacre’s perspective. “We are thankful for our training, and believe our small cooperative with fellow classmates is a great way to begin a business – plus, we get to fix guns all day, which is really cool,” Doyle said.

In addition to creating new opportunities for jobs in Caswell County, Clint and Tomiko say the response to the new service has been overwhelmingly positive among its members. “The obvious convenience and affordability of having Rack It Back Armory here at the outdoor range just can’t be matched anywhere else,” said Bob Bridges, a longtime member of Distinguished Pistol Outdoor Shooting Range.

“Our most popular services during range hours are gun cleanings and our FITI service, that’s fix-it & test-it right away,” said Halfacre. “Customers love to test out new sights or trigger adjustments on-the-spot. It’s extremely convenient for members to drop off and pick up their firearms at the armory and then test them on the ranges to make sure everything is perfect. Where else can you do that? They love it!”

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