We recently sat down with Mike Mihalski of Sons of Liberty Gun Works to discuss what’s new in 2021, and how the company is preparing for the year ahead. We were also able to gather a bit of information on a pair of highly anticipated rifles from Sons of Liberty pro staff members.
Q: With no in-person SHOT Show this year, we wanted to touch base and see what’s new for 2021. That said, let’s start with a recap of 2020…
Mike Mihalski, Sons of Liberty Gun Works – 2020 was a massive year for us. We started to focus a lot on dealers and distributors. We did that because it makes us a little bit “harder to kill,” not just logistically speaking…The fact is that taking individual orders is extremely difficult in today’s environment. It’s a lot easier to ship 500 guns to 1 FFL than to ship 500 guns to 500 different FFLs.
Our core mission is still to arm American civilians and give them the best possible defensive tools that we can. If we want to do that at the highest level, we have to streamline production. You never cut quality control. You never cut any corners or start shopping around for lesser parts. The only way to increase production then is to streamline how we take orders.
In 2020, we also built an incredible pro staff that has worked out incredibly for us. With Aaron Cowen, Michael Green, Chuck Pressburg, and Christopher Woomer, we’ve cultivated relationships that are amazingly beneficial for our company. Sharing all of that collective knowledge and ideas has expanded our vision of what we can be and what we can do in ways that would have otherwise been impossible to comprehend.
Q: Bringing in a collective of such accomplished and driven people seems like a good way to avoid becoming stagnant or resting on your laurels.
Mike Mihalski, Sons of Liberty Gun Works – Absolutely. I’m personally pretty good at understanding the mechanical operation of the M4. What these guys bring to the table is a wealth of information from the shooter’s perspective. Them helping us improve incrementally is how we can evolve as a brand and ensure that we are always pushing forward. Bringing them on was not just for the sake of growth.
Rather, we are legitimately trying to improve the AR platform to make it better, faster and increase its lethality. By having input from people on the training side, the competitive side, who are really shooting these things…their input is incredible. The stuff we are doing is certainly not being drawn up by guys in fucking pleated slacks somewhere. Rather it is being driven by serious end-users who are on the cutting edge of their fields.
In the end, we’ve been able to learn a lot about efficiency. The brand footprint has massively expanded. We were already growing at a geometric rate, but the things we’ve done have compounded it. The focus now is just making sure we can satisfy demand while never, ever skipping on quality.
Q: Did you also collaborate with DARC (Direct Action Resource Center) last year? If so, can you discuss that at all?
Mike Mihalski, Sons of Liberty Gun Works – That is a partnership that is great for us. We’ve been able to be their go-to rifle guys, and what it does is offer us a ton of real-world experience and knowledge that can work its way into our products.
The relationship began in mid-2020. We sat down with the leadership of DARC to provide them with weapons and support them. The training they do there is invaluable, so the more we can help some of the partner agencies we work with to have access, the better. That said, it also helps us.
You might have some good armorers on staff who are great at building guns, but I’d be willing to bet that almost none of them have ever had to clear a house or never done that under NODs. They would not understand where to position slings, how body armor impacts the usage of the rifle, etc. The partnership ends up making our team at Sons of Liberty a lot more in tune with the end-user side of the rifle, well beyond just the mechanics.
Q: So, moving on to 2021. How is Sons of Liberty approaching the year ahead?
Mike Mihalski, Sons of Liberty Gun Works – There is a lot of uncertainty, and as much as we’d like to scale up and invest a ton in infrastructure, machines, and facilities, it would be a bit irresponsible for us to do that. Moving forward for the near future, we want to focus on the quality and make sure that we can remain nimble so that we can adapt to whatever it is that might be thrown at us during these somewhat uncertain times.
I don’t want to get into politics too much, but I do want to say this: People will say “oh, we’ve seen all this before.” To that, I would simply say, ‘no we haven’t…'” I’m not going to be Chicken Little and say the sky is falling, but I anticipate some hurdles.
Our posture is to simply maintain production levels and be agile enough to handle anything that’s thrown at us. To me, this is the most responsible way that I can run my business. Scaling up just does not seem like an option right now.
Q: Understanding it’s been a crazy past year, anything new you can reveal to us?
Mike Mihalski, Sons of Liberty Gun Works – I know this is cliché, but I will say that we are about to reveal the industry’s most effective lube. I really don’t think enough technology and research has gone into weapon lubricants, not as much as you’d think, anyway. Compared to other industries, I think we are really far behind on that kind of stuff.
To address this, Sons of Liberty turned to our friends in the oil, gas, and fracking world, and asked some of their chemical engineers to start working on something for us. They’re experts at working with tooling, running tools miles underneath the earth, and have a passion for making sure that things continue to operate under very extreme conditions.
This was important to me because there are millions and millions of new gun owners out there that do not understand weapons maintenance or know a lot about guns. Because of that, by default, there will also be neglect. As such, we wanted to develop something that was almost foolproof, something that maintains in place longer than anything else. What was developed accomplishes this but is also better in terms of lubricity.
We’re calling the product S.P.E.C. ’76, which stands for “Special Endurance Coating.” The goal is to keep guns running or ready to work, even if they’ve seen a high level of neglect. We’ve noticed that what we’ve come up with also seems to make guns work that probably shouldn’t. If you have a brand-new gun that might have a QC issue, and the gun needs to overcome some microscopic disparities, the stuff actually overcomes that.
It’s really neat, and we plan to release complete technical papers on it. We also plan to send a ton of it out to independent people to examine it. What you’re going to find is this isn’t just something we slapped a label on because we needed something to sell. We think we’ve legitimately made something better, and we’re very excited to get it out there.
Q: Can you describe what this product looks like?
Mike Mihalski, Sons of Liberty Gun Works – It’s thicker than oil, which was by design. This allows it to adhere to metallic surfaces longer. It adheres on a molecular level, and as soon as a part of it is moved off of the surface, more moves over to fill that gap. Not only is the material attracted to itself, it is attracted to the metal, so it stays in place longer and does not evaporate.
We see a lot of people buy these guns, they put them in their safes for a long time, and when they take them out to go shoot them, the weapon is not performing the way you expect it to. I will say that for people that perform regular maintenance, many other lubes will work just fine. However, I think for people who are not used to that, what we are offering can benefit and help them keep their guns up and running and give them a more positive experience. I make it a habit not to talk shit, and what I would tell you is that this product is the real deal, and something we’re quite excited about.
Q: Can you talk about some of the other things that you’re working on right now?
Mike Mihalski, Sons of Liberty Gun Works – With the talent we have at our disposal, we have a lot of things that we’re planning, but the fact of the matter is that machine time is limited as we work to fulfill orders. As such, it can be hard to bring new things forward. If you notice, there’s a considerable lack of new products this year, across the industry.
We’ll be announcing some new things, but there are a lot of moving parts, so we want to be careful about what I say. I will say that whatever we launch will be something that offers a legitimate improvement. We’re not in the business of doing stuff just to do it. Our goal is always going to be how can we make something better. How can we push the envelope a little bit further.
Q: Are you able to talk about upcoming signature rifles? We’d love to get our hands on a Sage Dynamics gun you did with Aaron Cowan, which is one of the most desirable ARs around. What can you tell us about rifles that may or may not be coming from other Pro Staff?
Mike Mihalski, Sons of Liberty Gun Works – I can’t go into tremendous detail, but I can tell you that we have both a Chuck Pressburg gun and a Michael Green gun in production right now as we speak. We’ll wait and do an unveil once there are racks of these guns built and ready to go. We don’t want to be in a situation where there is an indefinite backorder.
I say that because I get this question a lot: “When will stuff be available on the website? Why can’t we put stuff on backorder?” We can’t do that because it is impossible to predict when we can fulfill that. I think it’s a bit irresponsible to do that…even now, when we ship out literally millions of dollars in guns, we don’t send the invoice until after they receive the product. At that point, the product is real and it’s in their hands. Then and only then do we take payment.
I am just not comfortable taking people’s money and just fucking hope it all works out (laughs). For all we know, the barrel maker’s shop could burn down, and we’d not have barrels for our guns. Things like that make me very hesitant to want to take people’s money up front. My belief is that the money is not mine until the product is theirs.
Q: Not to probe, but can you share as much as possible about these upcoming Pressburg and Green guns?
Mike Mihalski, Sons of Liberty Gun Works – I want to be careful not to reveal too much just yet. What I can say is that the Chuck Pressburg gun is going to be a flagship gun for us. It’s a very, very purpose-built gun, and Chuck selected every component on it. Let’s just say that no expense was spared, and there’s nothing to upgrade. There’s nothing to modify. Not only is it going to be mechanically and ergonomically solid, we also wanted to do something cool on the exterior. They are going to have some very, very unique Cerakote jobs.
It’s going to be a beautiful gun that’s also very functional. I can tell you that it’s something special. I will also say that they day that we announce them will be the day that we release them. That’s all I can say right now about Chuck’s gun.
As far as the Michael Green gun we’re doing, his gun is one that we had talked about for a long time. Working overseas, he had need for a low visibility firearm. He liked the idea of having a platform that can be taken places in a discreet way. I can say that he had some very specific size requirements in mind. When it is released, it will be a package, not just the gun itself. There will be other things associated with it.
In the interest of length, we’ll stop this article here, and pick up with Part II of our interview with Mike Mihalski coming up in the days ahead, which may include another very surprising product announcement.
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