Ruger Needs Gun Loving Engineers

Ruger CEO and President Michael O. Fifer recently said on a shareholder analyst call that the company needs a lot more gun loving engineers. From the call transcript

Brian Gary Rafn – Morgan Dempsey Capital Management, LLC:

Mike, you talked about your new design engineers and some of the constraints there. So you were talking about 60 to 70 and now at 89. If you had a perfect world and you can drop in as many engineers as you could, like you dropped in a Navy SEAL team, how many engineers would that be at Ruger today? Could you use 100, 120, given the projects that you had today?

Michael O. Fifer – Chief Executive Officer, President and Director:

I’ll take 18 more this afternoon. Remember, I mentioned that we had 3 substantial projects that just are just sitting on ice that we had taken through Phase 1 and then had to park. And typically our engineering teams are kind of 6 engineers, maybe 3 line engineers, 3 manufacturing engineers and then throw in a supply chain guy. Sometimes the project manager comes and goes from the group grew but we like them like that. Engineers really are successful and kind of unit to 5. You have a single engineer and the atrophy. You put 5 of them together all at 1 table with their screens and they’re all kind of working together and competing together and feeding off each other and they do really well. It’s exciting to watch them at work, so that’s what we like. So we’ve got some great projects and I need more engineers. If you can find me 18 mechanical engineers that are good at manufacturing, good at LEAN and love guns, send them my way.

If I was an engineer I know where I would be posting my resume!

Many thanks Axel for the tip.





Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Lee Potteiger

    What exactly are you trying to say here? The language is so bad that is isn’t funny. And you are the Chief Executive Officer but can’t explain the development process in simple terms? Hmmm…the things that make you go hmmm….. in case you are wondering why I said/stated this: “And typically our engineering teams are kind of 6 engineers, maybe 3 line engineers, 3 manufacturing engineers and then throw in a supply chain guy. Sometimes the project manager comes and goes from the group grew but we like them like that.” Now, this is so poorly written for a CEO.

    • T. Edward Price

      Lee, I would agree with you completely, if this were a written transaction. I could be wrong, but it looks like this was a casual verbal conversation. If this had been an official press release, it would have certainly been drafted by a technical writer. I hope that is the case here.

      • Steve (TFB Editor)

        Yes, these calls are fairly casual (in their tone, there is a lawyer sitting next to Michael preventing him from saying anything the SEC would not like). The analysts all know each other and they know Michael. They are asking for information that helps them make decisions, and Michael is just answering them (not trying to make formal statements to the press).

    • William

      Your over thinking it, he is just saying they need more men to work on projects and the line your drew from he is saying that he is amused by the way those type of men work and they need different types and more of them to continue projects they are on

    • Steve (TFB Editor)

      It is a poorly transcribed transcript of a conversation. Buying the official transcript would have cost me $50.

      • T. Edward Price

        Aw, come on, a measly 50 bucks? It’s a legitimate tax deduction. Plus it’s not like you have to worry about the IRS “targeting” gun blogs. Oh, wait…nevermind! 🙂

  • Brian Page

    If they can wait a few years, I’ll have a Mechanical Engineering degree and be looking for a job. 😀

  • Spencedaddy

    I seriously have been looking for a post like this for months!

  • Mooklan

    Please count me in! Where shall I send my resume?

  • lolinski

    Aww, I am not a engineer but I know how guns work and I like copming up with new ideas (AKA not another AR)

  • CrankyFool

    I’m not a gun-loving engineer (well, I AM a gun-loving engineer, but not the kind of engineer they want), but I get worried when companies in the business of SOMETHING say they want SOMETHING-loving people; in my experience, this means “we want to get fans of our stuff so we can pay them less than we would if they just saw it as a job.” It’s particularly pervasive in the computer game industry, where game companies prey on young engineers who were/are gamers and think that doing 16 hour days working on a game sounds like a lot of fun (until you do it for three years in a row).

    Ruger’s got massive profits right now; if they’re really hurting for engineers and want to hire some, they should be able to significantly improve their odds of hiring by simply raising the amount of money they’re willing to pay these folks.

    • HMSLion

      Yup. Engineers don’t come cheap. Not good ones. No Bucks, No Buck Rogers.

    • Ian

      Also, the term Engineer is used rather loosely in the firearms industry. I personally fit all of the above requested qualities, save for the specific degree, and yet I am referred to as Design Engineer at my firearms industry job.

      Would I work for Ruger? Probably not, though mainly because of their location. They definitely could use some help in their AR-15 department, though.

  • someone

    >I mentioned that we had 3 substantial projects that just are just
    sitting on ice that we had taken through Phase 1 and then had to park

    Does anyone know what these are? I can’t bring up the transcript to see if they say anything else about them.

  • Duray

    Who needs engineers when Kel-Tec does the work for you? Of course, in all fairness I should admit they don’t JUST build Kel-Tecs. They also do AR’s and 1911s.

    • Laserbait

      Shesh, KelT-ec doesn’t even make Kel-Tecs. At least, I’ve not seen any available for sale anywhere in a long time.

      Oh, and Ruger makes a little known thing known as a “revolver”, also they have these things called “bolt action rifles”.

  • Stephen Lucas

    Will they wait another 3 years for me to graduate? Please?

  • They want engineers who love guns…and yet the company is located in a state that, statute-wise, hates gun owners.
    Do they understand the recruitment problem this may pose?
    There are plenty of universities that produce great engineers in states that have gun-friendly laws. Texas A&M and Georgia Tech come to mind.

    • RugerFan

      Last time I checked New Hampshire and Arizona do not hate gun owners.

      Their business offices are in Connecticut but 98% of their employees are in NH and AZ.

  • Daniel

    I like ruger and i love guns but i doubt i can drive a train.

  • And I suck at math, god dammit.

  • Cuban Pete

    Well perhaps Mike will open up the cash box, get of his rear end, and go to some fine Southern state universities, start recruiting some recent graduates and train them. Good pay, good working conditions, good benefits, and a grea jobd = loyal workers.
    Try that on for size, Mike!

    • If they like guns and are smart, they wont move to a nanny state.

  • themastermason

    Sign me up!!!

  • Zapp Brannigan

    “…mechanical engineers that are good at manufacturing, good at LEAN and love guns, send them my way.”

    Translation: “…mechanical engineers that I don’t have to train one tiny bit, that I can put to work after a day or two.”

    This is why our manufacturing is dying. Nobody thinks they have to invest in their employees anymore, that somehow they all come ready-to-work at zero cost.

    This isn’t just a problem in manufacturing. Through family members I see that the banking/financial industry is going to face a similar brain-drain when the baby-boomers retire in about 10-20 years as they aren’t finding and training their replacements because it isn’t conducive to profits right now.