My family, as well as my wife’s family, has always been involved with shooting and hunting. It’s been a great source of fun, valued tradition, and treasured fellowship all of my life. I have very fond memories of going rabbit hunting with my Dad, and learning how to shoot a shotgun and Ruger pistol with my older sister and brother-in-law. I remember I was the luckiest 8 year old in the world when I was given a Ruger 10/22 of my very own for Christmas. I practiced with it as often as I could convince Mom and Dad that I deserved another “brick” of ammunition. In later years, I would pass the summer days using my Red Ryder to shoot red wasps in half as they lit on the water of the cattle trough.
I also enjoyed competing at a young age in 4H Riflery and Archery, traveling around to nearby cities shooting 22 target rifles in 3 positions. Our team or I usually placed quite high. It was always so enjoyable to compete and score well.
At a young age, I began designing and building things. I filled notebooks and pages with sketches and doodles of fantastic devices. However, I learned how things actually operated by watching my older brother build and repair things. I learned nearly all of what I know about mechanical systems from him. He always took the time to teach me about whatever he was doing. Thanks, Greg. Over the years, the things I built were not always firearms-related, but I did find that I had a knack for design. Creating things from nothing to improve life and/or hobbies was always such an enjoyable and satisfying challenge.
I helped Greg build a go-kart nearly from scratch with nothing but a drill, a tap and die set, and buckets of surplus rusty hardware (because we couldn’t afford a welder and the fancy parts we saw in the catalogs). Shortly thereafter, I built a full size hovercraft with just a little assistance from him when I was 13. It worked quite well, although it didn’t hover high enough to clear the tall west Texas rocks that were all over the farm.
As I grew older, I knew I wanted to design things for a living, so I ended up attending Texas A&M University (in College Station, when there was only one) to graduate as a Mechanical Engineer, Class of 1996.
It was during those memorable college years that I met my beautiful and amazing wife, Susie, Class of 1999. Between classes, several semesters of co-op work, and having fun with her, I wasn’t able to hunt or shoot much; but that was ok.
As seemed to be the custom at the time, we got married the week after I graduated and we moved to Houston the week after that to begin my career.
Being closer to Susie’s family allowed me to get back into shooting and hunting. Susie’s Dad, her Uncle, Brother, and Cousin loved hunting and shooting more than my family did, so it was a perfect match. Range time, waterfowl hunting, and reloading passed the years and really strengthened my bond with them. Thanks to each of them for all the fun times and great memories, and those we have yet to make.
Before we had kids, Susie and I seemed to have all the time in the world. I would spend evenings and Saturdays at the range, or reloading, hunting, or shooting Cowboy Action or Sporting Clays, or shooting long range, IDPA, or 3-gun. You never realize how much free time you have, until you don’t have it anymore.
We have since had three children of our own, and I can’t wait for each of them to get older so I can start sharing the same types of traditions and outdoor family times I had as a kid. Our oldest boy, Evan, is quite a good shot now at the age of 6. When he was almost 3, his very first shooting experience was on my lap holding a Red Ryder with a sawed off stock. He loved it, as I expected he would. He then graduated to a Chipmunk rifle that his Granddad (Susie’s Dad) gave him which he could hold by himself, and now he is triple tapping steel with the same open sighted 10/22 I got when I was 8. He needs a little more arm and hand strength, but he’s already able to shoot quite accurately (and safely) with a Ruger 22/45 Lite.
Of course the most important thing we stress when we go to shoot is safety and respect for firearms. It’s amazing how quickly he learns, how well he follows directions, and how expertly he already handles and performs chamber checks as we shoot. It makes me so proud. This is what it’s all about. I can’t wait until Ethan and Claire are old enough.
So after all these years of working in the oil and gas business, all the while still building things here and there, actively shooting, and raising a family, I decided I would combine my love for design with my passion for shooting. I had some designs and ideas from years past, as well as some new ones, so I just needed to make it official. After much discussion on a name and purpose for our company, Susie suggested “KBA Custom”. The “KBA” was to stand for “Keep and Bear Arms”. I loved it! Not only did it provide a unique name for the type of business I wanted to create, but it also captured the essence of the Second Amendment; something we all hold dear. What better way to pay homage to this freedom than to design, build, and market products that help more people safely enjoy this wonderful and unique right we have here in the United States of America?
Both Susie and I are lifetime NRA members, but the older we get, and the older our children get, the more it bothers me how far we as a society have strayed from those days when a 10 year old boy could roam the countryside by himself with his 22 rifle.
This is where the idea of the “KBA Culture” originates. I know there are others out there that feel this exact same way. I want to help give us a voice, and also try to make a difference by helping to fund organizations like the NRA, Veterans’ groups, and firearm training for youth that reach out to non-shooters. For more on this, please see our KBA Culture page.
Our first few products will fit into the basic categories on our Products page, with the order of their design and release to market based solely on what we feel will be the best-selling or most popular items. As our product line grows, it may become apparent that we can concentrate on a particular item or category of items in which to specialize.
Most of our products are designed using 3D solid modeling software, where needed. Everything will be tested thoroughly and we will do the very best we can at ensuring fit and function. From there, we will make every attempt at sourcing everything with companies in the USA. The only exceptions will be if a product or service is for some strange reason simply not available in the USA.
All of the products we make and sell will be built to last for many years of hard use. I refuse to build something cheaply that will only last for a short time, just to make money. I have always been very particular about the items I buy and use for myself, so I will only release products that will pass my rigorous testing and quality standards. When given the choice, I tend to spend a little bit more on something if it is made domestically and will last longer. You get what you pay for. I can’t be the only one that feels this way.
Thank you very much for visiting our website. We are bringing more products to market all the time, so please be patient with us. It means a lot that you have taken the time to read this note. When you buy something from us, I want you to get every dollar’s worth of value out of it, and hopefully more. We will always stand behind what we sell. Feel free to read our Return Policy.
I hope you find something you can use, or maybe even find something you didn’t know you couldn’t live without. I would love any feedback you have!
May God bless the USA.