Mid December we have learned that one of the companies that we work with very often had suffered a devastating fire. Pac-Nor Barreling, Inc. is a trustworthy company located in the Brookings, Oregon area. We have worked with them for a number of years now and in our experience, they provide excellent services and customer support. Their turnaround time is usually 2-4 weeks faster than other companies (about 6 weeks) and we have never had any complaints from our customers regarding the barrels we purchased from them. On the contrary, all the feedback is great from our customers, regarding all aspects of the transactions: the prices, the turnaround time, the behavior of the barrels in time, the way the barrels take finishing, etc. In working with their products, as gunsmithing company, we have been fully satisfied.
Before we address the effects of a fire on a manufacturing facility, we would like to mention that we do not know the owners personally and we do not have any financial gain in publishing an article about this company. The reason why we are publishing this article is because the side-effects of their loss are affecting some of our customers and are creating a gap in the local barrel market until they will be up and running again. Just like them, we have been working hard at building our own company from ground up and we have invested a great number of years in this venture. Probably more than other companies who might have started with a massive capital investment available from a group of investors, companies that start with a hand-shake and build a company over decades should understand what Pac-Nor must be going through. Our hope is that once they are up and running, the PNW gun community will flood them with orders and support their business.
We have placed one particular order with Pac-Nor, mid-September. Their turnaround time is usually 6 weeks, so when by mid-October we didn’t hear anything back, we didn’t worry. By mid-December one of our other customers mentioned that the factory had gone through a fire and not everything was saved. On the company website, there is a notice regarding the misfortune they went through on the 23rd October 2019 (http://pac-nor.com/). We reached out to Pac-Nor and made arrangements with them to get a refund. Our order was among the projects that were not salvageable. Our second choice for a barrel producer is Benchmark, which we know as another trustworthy company. Benchmark is little bit pricier than Pac-Nor, it has a turnaround time that is just slightly longer, but it is overall still a great choice for a decent, quality barrel, with a fair price and reasonable turnaround time. Our delayed project was caught up between the fire, the information reaching us, Christmas holiday mailing (at slower speed…), processing the refund, placing the new order, new turnaround time. Neither of these two companies have done anything to slow down this process. The process itself took time.
Now, you might wonder why Pac-Nor did not send automatically an e-mail to all their customers, why were we the ones reaching out to them instead them contacting us. What follows is an objective analysis, we did not contact Pac-Nor to ask about specific conditions, nor do we feel like we need to do so. And here is why:
As a gunsmithing company (not a retail store), when I-1639 passed, the first decision we took was that we will stop offering transfer services for any firearms that require transfer compliance to I-1639. We lost some business, and we were aware that that will be the case. I-1639 is an unconstitutional initiative. It requires our customers to wave their Hippa rights. We will not be part of that scheme. We are a company that operates based on principles rather than an eager desire to make a profit off the Americans who should be free to purchase and sell firearms at will. Our new facility has not been built by anyone in Olympia. Our new facility, the bags of concrete that were poured in our parking lot, the drywall that was hanged, the flooring that was installed, the packing and moving heavy machinery, mowing our lawn – this was ALL done by us (a man and a woman) and all our friends and customers who came and helped. You have built our facility, you have encouraged us to keep going, you supported us with your business, you have been, at every single step, supporting us. Not Olympia. Olympia was careful to tax us at every single step. The same Olympia asked us to ask you to waive your Hippa rights. No. We won’t. We will only offer services that are SAFE for YOU, services that do not enslave you but honor you, as you have honored us with your time, business, availability and energy. And if that means that our revenue will be slightly less, fine.
Part of the same principle is how we store your information. If our computers would catch on fire or get fried by the water that puts down a fire, our entire database would be gone. We do not store anything in the cloud, and we never will. Under these circumstances, if we were to burn down, we would not have any contacts to call you or let you know what happened. It would be up to you to contact us, with the copy of your work order that we provide when you drop off your firearm. Storing your information in the cloud would expose you to risks. We would not want our personal information (like ID details and firearm details) to be stored in the cloud and we will not do that to you.
We prefer a handwritten A&D book system (which is fully compliant with the ATF requirements) over the electronic A&D system, for the same reasons. There is too much sensitive information about you out there already – we have no intention in making more sensitive information about you available and make you vulnerable to attacks.
As a company, our struggle will always be to protect our customer’s rights and interests whilst also functioning 100% legally. We do not believe in breaking the law but we also do not believe in supporting anti-gun politicians or being careless with your private information and making you vulnerable to hacking attacks. We have to store information *somewhere*. It will either be in the cloud or on paper. We chose paper.
The downside is that in case of an act of God or tragedy, our options would be limited and it would be up to you to contact us. It would then take us quite a bit of time to process all request, work things out with the insurance company, set up the refunds and figuring out what payment needs to go where, and releasing all refunds back to you or provide you with new turnaround time for your project. It would be impossible to do all that over night – in fact, it would probably take a few good weeks. Bear in mind, we are smaller than Pac-Nor, so if this would be a task extended over a few weeks, how much more for them?
We have never mentioned (or in fact, thought about) these implications before the fire at Pac-Nor, but realizing that our clientele would be in the same situation as theirs in case something happened at our facility, we decided it might be good to share with you what our priorities are. We need to underline the fact that when providing services, especially in the firearm industry, our clientele can either have speed at the cost of lack of privacy protection, or reasonable privacy protection at the cost of a slower turnaround time. Our policy prioritizes privacy protection.
Please keep Pac-Nor in mind for your future business and show your support towards this American company that went through a very destructive fire. If you still have pending orders with them, please be understanding with the unfortunate circumstance they are in and give them room to rebuild and start trade again. Pac-Nor did what it could, in the rhythm that it was able to, and in spite us having to deal with the situation and the whole experience being unpleasant, we have absolutely no complaint. Fires always produce ripple effects. Regardless how inconvenient it was for us, for them it must have been thousand times more inconvenient. If they keep the same standards of production quality when they re-open the facility, they will not lack business. We will keep recommending them and look forward to working with them.