Oklahoma Hunters Start Ammo Business in Their Backyard After Creating Idea Over Some Miller Lites

by Amy Myers
(Photo By Michael Macor/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

After spending the day in duck blinds in 2017, three Oklahoma hunters sat down at a small table with a few Miller Lites and came up with the idea to start their own ammo company.

While sharing a couple of slices of pizza, Jared Lewis, Nick Charney, and Jason Lonsberry created the initial plans for 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 Columbus Rotary Club.

Oddly enough, the three men had only ever hunted together once before they began the journey to create their own ammo company. Despite this, though, they had grown close thanks to their wives who are all Air Force pilots. Because of their bond, they trusted each other to be able to make this pipe dream into a reality.

Apex Ammunition isn’t just another ammo company either. They use tungsten super shot (TSS) in their ammo. TSS is a tungsten-alloy material that is denser than lead. In fact, as Lewis explained, only gold and uranium have a higher density than tungsten. Even more unique is the fact that they hand load all of their rounds.

Unfortunately, though, they couldn’t patent their design.

“You can’t patent what we do, so we knew right out of the gate that branding was essential,” Lewis said. “We were first in the market, which is why we move so fast. Then branding had to come right behind it. When federal and everybody else started trying to do what we do, it helped because people were tired of the bad customer service. That’s what we focus on ­— the customer first. They’re all doing it, but they can’t do it like we do.”

Hunters in Charge of Ammo Company Support Mississippi Market and Veterans

While the company first grew its roots in Oklahoma, the majority of the ammo company’s operations occur in New Hope, Mississippi. Apex Ammunition has received offers from Kentucky to expand their work, but according to Lewis, the hunters have no intention of crossing state lines. Instead, they’re doubling down on their current location and increasing their staff to 50 people.

“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.”

At the Apex Ammo facility in Lowndes County, most of their workers are veterans.

“We are integrity first, and that’s what a lot of military people are taught,” Lewis said. “We’re not going to price gouge. We’re going to set the fair market value and go from there.”