This is an interesting development if you have followed the Templar / Crux / F-1 story. This isn’t breaking news here but I just received the press release which reminded me of it. Full disclaimer, I own several Templar / Crux cans that have performed very well for over ten years, having acquired my first two in 2014 with two more in 2015. In case you don’t know, the name was changed from Templar to Crux for much of the same reasons that Trijicon dropped the bible verses.

Get Ready for the Next Great American Firearms Company
SPRING, TX (Feb. 21, 2024)— Located in Spring, Texas, WATCHTOWER Firearms is a veteran-owned company with a mission to “build the most sought-after firearms in the world that will inspire the next generation of gun ownership by creating an enduring connection between its products and its customers.” At present, the company builds spec-ops and competition-grade MSR-style rifles, the Apache double stack 1911 pistol, the Jedburgh suppressor, and a wide range of accessories and gear.

Jason Colosky, the CEO and Founder of WATCHTOWER, has a vision to build “The Next Great American Firearms Company.”

Colosky often jokes that he is a true creator of the swamp. It’s a bit of a tongue-in-cheek play on President Trump’s commentary on federal employees who work in Washington, DC. Having grown up in the swampy bayous of Louisiana, he found himself living and working in Washington, D.C., for 25 years; however, that is where the similarities come to a screeching halt. He is a 2nd generation Recon Marine, his family has served in the military since they arrived in America in 1907, and his son recently completed Marine Corps Officer Candidate School. While service to the nation was deeply engrained in him at an early age, he also spent almost a decade in corporate America working for one of the world’s largest defense companies.

His journey into the firearms industry began with a deep frustration towards the prevailing corporate culture in America coupled with the trend of iconic American firearms brands being acquired by foreign entities only to be mismanaged or commoditized. This trend, which he saw as a deviation from the rich heritage of American firearms excellence, ignited his ambition to lead a change.

In May of 2023, Mr. Colosky and WATCHTOWER acquired F-1 Firearms. F-1 had been known for its lightweight competition MSRs. But there was more to its production facility than just competition MSRs. Several key ingredients drove WATCHTOWER towards acquiring F-1:
1. Its precision manufacturing capability and the quality of its firearms were truly off the charts. “We may not be building Ferraris and Lamborghinis down here in Spring, but we are building Dodge Demons and Shelby Cobras,” Jason will often remark when discussing how he approaches building American muscle and precision manufacturing into the firearms industry.
2. F-1 had a massive amount of open capacity that WATCHTOWER could immediately put to work as part of WATCHTOWER’s diversification roadmap. For most companies, open capacity is the kiss of death, but for investors, that part of an acquisition means there is little need for additional capital to raise, as the production capability is baked into the acquisition.
3. The entire workforce welcomed the acquisition and the change in direction and stayed on with the new company.

“It may sound cliche; however, our workforce is our lifeblood.”, said Colosky. “This team was extremely valuable, as they were already ‘on the other side of the learning curve.’ When you acquire a workforce that is used to making high tolerance, precision guns, everything else is a little easier.”

From there, WATCHTOWER rebranded the company and started running in a very different direction than F-1. While F-1 relied on shock branding, that is not what this team had in mind. Colosky remarked that he could easily rename the company after himself, much like many of the firearm titans of the past that have since sold out to European conglomerates. However, he views returning the American firearms industry back to its preeminent place in the world as a team effort with like-minded people who have also worn the nation’s cloth. You will find other Recon Marines, Navy SEALs, Scout Snipers, and veterans of all stripes within the company and throughout his leadership team. The name WATCHTOWER itself draws its name from the brave Americans who fought under the Southern Cross in the Pacific during the invasion of Guadalcanal, famously known as Operation WATCHTOWER.

From the company’s name to everything WATCHTOWER delivers, it is a touch point in American history. All the non-special edition firearms are serialized with 1775, and then the serialization builds from there. The company’s new titanium suppressor is named the Jedburgh in honor of the OSS Commandos from World War II. The hand-fitted PVD-coated double stack 1911 is named the APACHE in honor of the men who fought and died during Operation APACHE (snow) in Vietnam.

From a pricing standpoint, WATCHTOWER is the first to admit they are not in a race to the bottom. WATCHTOWER is positioned in the market as a top-tier manufacturer. The goal behind the brand is getting competition quality firearms into American hands at a blue-collar price. They are not inexpensive, but in the world of competition and hand-fitted rifles and pistols, they come in at a very comfortable price compared to the competition. Unlike other manufacturers, WATCHTOWER offers a lifetime, no-nonsense warranty. If your firearm is broken, they will fix it; if they cannot fix it, they will replace it, no questions asked. If you are a police officer who is carrying one of their rifles or pistols and is involved in an officer-related shooting, they will send you a brand-new firearm until it is released from the evidence locker; again, no questions asked. While legal counsel may not have been happy with this decision, Jason clearly stated, “we are not going to build the next great American firearms company by mincing words with legal caveat…our customers have to know we stand behind them and our products at all times.”

So, what is next for WATCHTOWER Firearms? This company is on the move and won’t be stopping any time soon. A second handgun is on the way, and two hybrid precision action/hunting rifles that will take the industry by storm will soon follow. WATCHTOWER Firearms is here to stay and will make America proud again– The Next Great American Firearms Company.

Editorial Contact:
Karen Lutto Leatherwood
804-539-6699 (cell)
ka***@hu******.com
HOC Website: www.hunteroc.com
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Publisher of Tactical Gun Review and Texas Outdoors Network. I love hunting for Texas whitetail deer, wild hogs, and high-volume Argentina dove. When not hunting you can find me fishing along the Texas Coast or on a wild Colorado river.

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