Howell Machine, an ammunition maker in Lewiston, has more than quadrupled its workforce in the last five years. That’s according to a recent article from the Lewiston Tribune.
The newspaper reports Howell Machine has 132 employees and plans to add almost 100 more by March. The company is also preparing to add some serious square footage, 47,000 more to be exact.
The Tribune reports the growth is a result of demand and the way owner David Howell has diversified his companies.
“The biggest shares of new jobs are at Howell-owned Lewis-Clark Ammunition and Clearwater Bullet. Lewis-Clark Ammunition makes shell casings for ammunition. Clearwater Bullet manufactures projectiles for ammunition rounds.
The two ventures help solve a problem for ammunition makers: having all four pieces for a round ready at once, Howell says. Those bottlenecks are expensive and can erase a manufacturer’s profit margin. If a factory has the primer, the shell casing and propellant, but not the bullet, its machines could sit idle.
Few businesses can afford to carry costly ammunition parts on their books for extended periods, Howell says.
Within Lewis-Clark Ammunition is an operation that reconditions spent shell casings. The unit sorts them by size, cleans them and removes any damage. “We do some very exotic recycling,” Howell said. – Lewiston Tribune
Howell’s businesses include the Howell Machine Shop, AmmoLoad Worldwide, and Twin River Contract Loading. The Tribune reports he’s also working on a line of national retail stores.
The gun and ammunition industry has been one the Idaho Department of Commerce proactively courts.
As StateImpact‘s Molly Messick recently reported, “state representatives have touted not only Idaho’s tax structure and comfort with firearms — as in this video, from last year — but also its firearms-friendly regulatory environment.”