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Crowdfunding” allows companies to raise capital without traditional borrowing (debt financing) or selling stock (equity financing). Those in the “crowd” (you and me) who pony up capital are rewarded with the first product deliveries, discounted prices, special editions, promotional goods, and more, in exchange for limited risk. Unfortunately, if a company was looking to fund a new firearm-related product via crowdfunding, they were almost certainly out of luck — shut out of the mainstream sites. Until now

All of the established crowdfunding sites — GoFundMe, IndieGoGo, Kickstarter, etc. — refuse to run funding campaigns for all but an extremely limited selection of gun-related products (basically some targets, but certainly nothing that touches a gun, is a gun, or is used with a gun). In fact, even knives, archery equipment, hunting-related products, and more are also excluded altogether or highly unlikely to be accepted on the big sites.

Enter Fire Funder, a new crowdfunding website built specifically for the shooting, hunting, and outdoor trade (SHOT) community by like-minded individuals. A platform like this can help launch new companies and assist existing companies in rolling out new products faster. Crowdfunding campaigns also provide rapid market feedback on the viability of a new product before a company has invested too heavily.

If Fire Funder gains traction as other crowdfunding sites have, this could be a very positive development for shooters of all sorts as the marketplace grows with new and innovative products.

We’ll be keeping an eye on Fire Funder’s campaigns for a heads-up on interesting new gear; products like the CleanShot shoot-through bore cleaning rounds. In fact, we’ve already reached out to the founder of the company to get some samples for testing and review. It will be interesting to watch Fire Funder’s acceptance and impact on the SHOT product marketplace.

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  1. This isn’t the first attempt at doing a pro-gun crowd funding site. Twistrate was started a couple of years ago attempting the same thing.

    I hope they succeed, but in the past few of the gun friendly financial programs end up succeeding.

    • I’m running about 90% of my Kickstarter deliveries. And probably less than 10% of those were below my expectations when they arrived.

      Of course not a single one was on time, getting it within 6 months of the promised delivery date is optimistic.

      But it isn’t a scam, Kickstarter is very clear that it is angel investing. You may or may not get squat. And IMO it is great for niche and non-traditional projects. Most of the products I’ve backed are items that I doubt would’ve ever seen the light of day without Kickstarter.

        • Same. I completely understand why people are against it in principal, but I’ve had good luck as well. Not like I haven’t bought products off of store shelves that turned out to be failures, so there’s a certain amount of crap shoot and risk that’s hard to avoid even then. Some of the things on those sites are clear pie-in-the-sky, and some are finalized, tested products ready to be made but the company couldn’t fund the production run. That’s more like a group buy than angel investing. All of them refund your money should the threshold for campaign success not be met, so that part isn’t a risk. Anyway, consumer be smart and beware, as always. But I have not been burned in the 5 or 6 crowdfunding things I’ve jumped on and I think only 2 were even behind schedule more than a week. No complaints. They were cool products that likely wouldn’t have seen the light of day otherwise.

      • There isn’t a lack of authors and sites covering the scams that come and go on kickstarter and other crowd funding sites. and at least one district attorney has caught on to the fraud possibility (The lily drone). Crowdfunding or micro investing is carefully crafted to avoid any SEC regulations (for now). Would I help crowdfund an indie movie, arts project, or conservation project – probably. Would I pony up money to get in early on a product that doesn’t exist and is promoted by a video that’s full of CGI enhancements and quick cuts – nope.

        There will always be people who want to get in early on things and will throw a few dollars at crowdfunding project. But, this micro investment model is the same thing that attracts scams and poorly planned projects that are never intended to deliver or are mismanaged train wrecks.

        Investor beware.

  2. I’ve had good and bad experiences with Kickstarter. The bad ones tend to be really bad- and the bad ones always involved some sort of multi-step complex manufacturing, scam is way too kind of a word for some of these projects…..I would look at any project (on any site) with a healthy skepticism.

    On the other hand- I’ve had some things work extremely well.

    1. When you have industry experts taking an idea on their own and trying to build a new company with a flagship product. Proven track record in an industry, clear business case laying out the “how” in concrete details- not fuzzy bunny slipper language.

    2. When you’ve had an established company say, “we’re looking for seed money….we could fund this ourselves, but we need some sort of rate of return to make it viable….And we have conflicting priorities….BUT if you fund us, it’s “free money” and we’ll commit to honoring some sort of widget/price break back to you as a backer. That’s got a certain amount of honesty to it….Particularly when it comes from a smaller shop with a good rep. I see this as no more risky than putting money down on pre-order.

    The common trend is experience. But that’s for something complex. If you have someone who says, “I have a plan, I’ve made mock-ups, I have vendors lined up, here’s the production timetable….You have enough tangible proof of competence to make it an acceptable level of risk.

    I’m a small businessman, if you can make crowdfunding work for you, than good for you.

  3. They should have hired somebody with marketing sense to design their brand.

    Unless they are catering to arson enthusiasts, that is bad work.

  4. The Firestarter site wants some ridiculous combination of special characters for a password. That pisses me off every time I encounter it. Screw them.

    • Strong passwords piss you off? Tell me you don’t use the same username and password combo for every site – if you do, that’s going to come back to bite you like a pack of hungry ghetto pitbulls. Wait till you have to use 2FA, which you should be using now anyway.

  5. I own MD Arms. This is not much different than we used to make the MD-20 drum magazine for the Saiga-12 possible. We had a preorder with a 50% deposit. Anyone that wanted to cancel got a refund. Everyone received their order. Not only that but the MD-20 is by far the most reliable and highest quality Saiga-12 drum that has ever been offered to date. Without the pre-order with deposit (crowd funding) it would have died on the vine. Yes the project ran significantly over and plenty got impatient and nervous but those that stuck it out received an awesome drum that proved to be just as reliable as factory box mags, unlike all other aftermarket Saiga-12 mags made. The time lines ran over because I had never did anything like this including design. The companies I spoke to have super optimistic time lines on manufacturing the injection molds and me being completely new to that sort of thing believed them and relayed that timeline to the preorder customers. I definitely have a more realistic idea of what to expect now. Plus once I received the mold there were dimensions not met by the mold builders and also so other tweaks and improvements I wanted to to before delivering a final product which ran it over another good 6 months. But it all worked out. That success also lead to my eventual design and patent of a double stack shotgun magazine which has been realized as the OEM magazine in the new Mossberg 590M. Good things can come from crowd funding…

    I am all for this and will definitely be watching and supporting project I feel hold promise. Even if the person or group has zero experience in design or manufacturing. Hell, I owned and operated my own tree service before I climbed down out of the tree to design and manufacture the MD-20. I’m a high school drop out with no further formal education. Don’t underestimate people.

    I encourage everyone of you to go for your dreams. It is even easier now than every. The internet is much larger than when I did my preorder. Also back then a cheap 3D printer was $20000 dollars so I had to spend $5000 or better to hire those with them to make prototypes. Now you can get an awesome 3D printer for a couple thousand. You can get a perfectly adaquate one for $500.

    Anyone that has the will, passion, dedication and perseverance to take command and charge ahead of all the naysayers can make things happen. Even things that people say is impossible. Had I listen to all that crap I never would have pulled the drum off. I definitely wouldn’t have pulled off the ultra impossible double stack shotgun mags… Don’t listen to those people. They are either afraid for you out of good intentions or they don’t want you to succeed because they won’t or can’t themselves…

    • I say let’s support this new crowd funding site and see what other awesome ideas (and companies with future product that follow) crowd funding can bring. The firearm market is stagnate and a lot of manufactures are stuck in their ways with the same tired ideas. We need as much new blood with fresh eyes and ideas on the stuff we love as possible…


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