MidwayUSA

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MidwayUSA, Inc.
Private
Founded 1977
Headquarters Columbia, Missouri
Key people
Larry Potterfield (CEO)
Products shooting, hunting, camping supplies
gunsmithing accessories
Website www.midwayusa.com

MidwayUSA is a privately held American retailer of various hunting and outdoor-related products. The company is headquartered in Columbia, Missouri, and sells in the continental United States. The company markets online.

History[edit]

Ely Arms, Inc., the original name of MidwayUSA, was a well-planned, small start-up gun shop in Columbia, Missouri – opening on June 18, 1977. Larry, with his next younger brother Jerry, opened the business in a 151 square metre (1632 square foot) metal, pole-frame building. Jerry sold his half interest to Larry in 1980 and returned home to farm.[1]

The mail-order division was started quite modestly later in 1977, with a small offering of ‘hand-made’ 8mm Japanese pistol ammunition and 25 Remington rifle ammunition. In 1980 Midway received the first shipment of what was to be a total production run of 500,000 rounds of 8mm Nambu brass, produced by B.E.L.L. Labs of Chicago.[2] Much of this brass was loaded into ammunition and can still be found at gun shows in a bright orange box. The first press releases were under the name Ely Arms, Inc., which turned out to be in conflict with the Eley Division of Kynoch Industry; the term Eley was trademarked. So the name Ely Arms, Inc. was changed to Midway Arms, Inc., to avoid the conflict. The name Midway comes from the small community of Midway, in which the business was originally located. The name MidwayUSA was adopted as a dba in April 1998. Starline Brass was just starting up in the mid-1970s and MidwayUSA became their first distributor of bulk pistol brass, and in turn, the grandfather of the bulk components business in the United States. Winchester began selling bulk components to MidwayUSA in 1984 and Remington came on board in 1987. The Volker-McClure act was passed in 1986, modifying the 1968 Gun Control Act to allow the sale of cartridge cases directly to the end consumer and MidwayUSA immediately changed their model from business to FFL, to also include business to consumer.

In 1987 the business began adding other reloading products, the first of which was Lee Precision.

Computerization played a major role in the development of MidwayUSA; Potterfield had one computer class in college, and in 1982 he purchased the Company's first computer, an Apple III. In 1986 he bought the first IBM; in March 1987 they began networking their computers together.[3] All of this is the basis for the very significant Information System and Website Management Departments at MidwayUSA today.

In 2014 MidwayUSA became an online only retailer moving away from mail orders and the master catalog upon which the company was built.

Modern Management Practices[edit]

MidwayUSA is a proponent of the use of Modern Management Practices in business management. Modern Management Practices include Baldrige, Lean, ISO and Six Sigma. MidwayUSA received the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2009,[4] and 2015,[5] and is one of only seven organizations to earn the award twice since the first award cycle in 1988. The 2015 Baldrige National Quality Award was a follow-up to MidwayUSA’s receipt of the Missouri Quality Award from the Excellence in Missouri Foundation in 2015, an award the organization also received in 2008.[6] MidwayUSA has deployed both Lean and Six Sigma practices internally and has received ISO Registration, receiving ISO 9001:2000 in 2008 and 9001:2008 in 2009, 2011 and 2014.

NRA support[edit]

Larry and Brenda Potterfield created two programs[7] and several educational endowments in the National Rifle Association (NRA) Foundation. Brenda also served as the Vice President of the NRA Foundation's Board of Trustees. Since 1992, MidwayUSA has asked customers to round up the total of each order and donate the change to the NRA/ILA.[8] Since its inception, MidwayUSA has collected over US$13.1 million for the NRA/ILA National Endowment for the Protection of the 2nd Amendment.

Friends of NRA was founded in 1992 with the establishment of the Columbia, Missouri chapter, and has expanded to over 1,020 chapters. The group holds its monthly meetings in the MidwayUSA building. Many MidwayUSA associates help with and attend the annual Friends of NRA fund-raising banquet.

MidwayUSA is an annual major sponsor of the NRA Bianchi Cup, the National Action Pistol Championship.

MidwayUSA Foundation[edit]

Larry and Brenda Potterfield established the MidwayUSA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity, in 2007. The Potterfields began the Foundation as a result of their passion and interest in education for shooting, hunting, firearms safety and outdoor skills. The Foundation’s largest fund is the Team Endowment Account Program, an endowment to provide financial support to youth shooting teams. The MidwayUSA Foundation works to help communities and organizations raise funds to support their high school, college and other youth shooting teams and activities. The Foundation also manages donor advised endowed funds for these communities and organizations. Active teams can grow their Team Endowment Account balance several ways, including donations, fundraisers and earnings. Teams are then eligible to apply for a grant once per year to use for team expenses, such as travel, ammunition, range fees, equipment and more. As of 30 September 2015, the MidwayUSA Foundation is known to have US$ 98.7 million in assets, have paid US$ 12.6 million in grants and assisted 2,505 teams with endowments.[9] Learn more by visiting www.midwayusafoundation.org.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Potterfield, Larry. "How It All Got Started". MidwayUSA. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  2. ^ Potterfield, Larry. "The 8mm Nambu Project" (PDF). Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  3. ^ Potterfield, Larry. "How It All Got Started". MidwayUSA. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  4. ^ Newman, Michael (15 December 2009). "Five Organizations Honored with 2009 Baldrige National Quality Award". National Institute of Standards and Technology. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  5. ^ "Announces Four Recipients of 2015 Baldrige Award". Office of Public Affairs. Department of Commerce. 17 November 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  6. ^ "CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR 2015 RECIPIENTS!". Excellence In Missouri. Excellence In Missouri Foundation. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  7. ^ "New NRA Gunsmithing Endowment" (Press release). National Rifle Association. Nov 2006. Retrieved 2007-09-16. 
  8. ^ "MidwayUSA tops $3 million in NRA donations" (Press release). MidwayUSA. September 2005. Retrieved 2007-09-16. 
  9. ^ "Public Charity Transparency". MidwayUSA Foundation. Retrieved 5 January 2017. 

External links[edit]