Blac-Rac designs and produces firearm retention systems for tactical and civilian applications.
An Original Design
Kevin Pintar is an experienced manufacturing operations executive, recreational sport shooter, and firearm collector. In the mid 2000s, as Kevin’s interest in shooting increased, he was looking for a way to secure his long-barrel (rifle-like) guns in his home. He came up with a bracket that met his safety needs while allowing flexibility for securing different types of guns.
When he received enough encouragement from fellow shooters, and after surveying the market, Kevin recognized that his design was unique, and sought to market it as a product to secure long barrel guns for home use. He submitted an application for a patent.
A Gun Show in Vegas
Kevin refined the design, made up some prototypes, and invested in exhibiting at a large gun show in Las Vegas. This show had two distinct sections: recreational shooters (sport and hunting), and security (police, agency and military). To Kevin’s dismay, he discovered his exhibit location was not in the recreational building, but in the security section.
He assumed his $5,000 investment would go for naught, but decided to go ahead with the show in the hopes that some of the recreational attendees would happen through the security section. First one, then several police chiefs stopped by, each asking if Kevin’s gun rack could be adapted to fit in a police car. After some 25 such requests over three days, Kevin made an appointment to visit a police car garage in Washington State to see what they could do. Three days later, modifications and features were identified.
Kevin returned to Boise, invested in manufacturing tools, and with the help of his friend Tom Torres, set up shop in his garage and on his wife’s kitchen table. With his first production models, he attended an annual SWAT Show in Orlando, Florida in 2008. Product value was recognized, and sales began.
Kevin left his 15 year position as an operations executive with the ECCO Group to pursue his new product full time. He named the product “Blac-Rac”, since the rack was designed to hold all types of tactical weapons, known in the industry as “Black Weapons”.
From Garage to Production Plant
Around 2010, the requirements of a growing business-led Kevin to consult with his friend and former ECCO CEO, Ed Zimmer. After months of strategizing, including some customer visits, Kevin and Ed decided to recapitalize the company, investing in volume production tooling, product engineering, marketing, working capital, and operational support. Blac-Rac was able to move out of the Pintar family garage and kitchen and into a small manufacturing facility in Meridian, Idaho.
Today, Blac-Rac Weapon Retention Systems are recognized and preferred by law enforcement and military agencies throughout North America and abroad as the most secure and reliable firearm racking system for professionals.
Kevin Pintar says that his philosophy for business is simple
Kevin Pintar is the inventor of the Blac-Rac Weapon Retention System and founder and President of Blac-Rac Manufacturing Company. Kevin has nine patents, with more pending. Today, his products are used by hundreds of law enforcement agencies, all branches of the US military, and many federal and homeland security branches. His personal values and passion set the culture for all team members at Blac-Rac. Prior to starting Blac-Rac, Kevin had a successful career in global manufacturing operations with Fortune 500 companies. His unique expertise in bringing complex engineering projects to reality have brought hundreds of products to commercial markets, most recently with the ECCO Safety Group as Global Supply Chain Manager.
Tom Torres oversees manufacturing and special projects for Blac-Rac, developing many unique and challenging installation solutions for customers. In the early days, Tom worked with Kevin Pintar in the family garage, helping design and fabricate Blac-Rac’s first products. Tom is an active trainer, coach and instructor in many disciplines in the firearms world. He's a certified Firing Range Officer, and has provided weapons and shooting training for the US Air Force, Idaho SWAT (Sniper Squad), the Department of Corrections, sheriff's departments, and competitive shooters. Before joining Blac-Rac, Tom was a manager for Haliburton and Morrison Knudsen in the heavy construction divisions.
As a retired law enforcement officer and veteran of the United States Marine Corps and the United States Navy, Eric is well versed in the needs of law enforcement and military customers. He helps guide fleet managers, law enforcement agencies, military customers, and consumers to determine the proper Blac-Rac product for their specific application.
Kelly joined the Blac-Rac team after heading up inventory at a renowned gun manufacturer. Today he is implementing his expertise to ensure a smooth workflow and sourcing of quality parts.
Cory is deeply involved with all new products by taking raw ideas and shaping them into finished products using 3D modeling, simulations, prototyping, testing, tooling, and graphic arts. Cory started with Blac-Rac as an intern and part time mill technician. He joined the company full time after graduating from the University of Idaho in 2014 with a degree in Mathematics and Applied Physics. His OCD nature assures that all documents and models are meticulously managed and up to date. In his spare time, you can find Cory training at the local Krav Maga gym or mountain biking to nowhere in particular.
Terry leads finance for Blac-Rac. As a CPA and Parter of B2B CFO®, he fulfills the needs of our rapidly growing manufacturing business.
Ed Zimmer joined Blac-Rac in 2010 and became CEO in 2015. He is leading Blac-Rac to become the #1 manufacturer in America for professional firearm mounts. Previously, as the CEO of ECCO Group, along with his partner Jim Thompson, Ed led the company from 20 to over 500 employees with factories in the US, England and Australia. When he retired in 2009, ECCO was (and still is) the world’s largest manufacturer of warning lights and reversing alarms for commercial vehicles. Ed is also a founder and director of the Boise State University Venture College, where he helps students and community members launch start-up businesses.