Sons of Guns
|Sons of Guns|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||65 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Stephen Land|
|Producer(s)||Dane Walker Chase|
|Location(s)||Baton Rouge, Louisiana|
|Running time||30 minutes with commercials (season 1),
60 minutes with commercials (season 2–5)
|Production company(s)||Jupiter Entertainment|
|Original network||Discovery Channel|
|Original release||January 26, 2011– May 16, 2014|
Sons of Guns is a reality television series that aired on the Discovery Channel between 2011 and 2014. The series centers on Red Jacket Firearms LLC, a Louisiana-based business that manufactures and sells custom firearms to law enforcement, security firms, and private collectors. Will Hayden is the founder and owner of the shop, his daughter and business partner Stephanie manages the office.
As on the Discovery Channel series MythBusters, this show practices a degree of self-censorship and safety-consciousness. Each episode begins with a staff member (usually Will) warning viewers not to try anything demonstrated on the show at home. In addition, during scenes of catastrophic failure, the crew will remind the audience not to try anything at home. The program also makes a noted point to avoid showing specific detail of how weapon modifications or fabrications are performed.
After five seasons, the show was canceled on August 27, 2014, as a direct result of Hayden's arrest on various sexual charges.
- Will Hayden – Owner (No longer affiliated as of 8/26/14)
- Stephanie (Hayden) Ford – Office Manager (Will's daughter)
- Kris Ford – Production Manager (Stephanie's husband, Will's son-in-law)
- Joe Meaux – COO
- Charlie Watson – Forensic Firearms Expert/Marketing Manager
- In addition to their listed roles, all staff members also work as gunsmiths.
Recurring clients and experts
- Glenn Harrison – Antiques collector/history enthusiast
- Barry Borum - Gun manufacturer (also assists the crew in some builds as an outside contractor)
- David P. Michaels - Flamethrower expert
- Ira Sellers - Big Bores / Heavy weapons expert
- Jim Fuller - Rifle Dynamics
- Billy Cho - Rifle Dynamics
- Chris Ledford - Alias "The King of Guns"
- Natalie Foster - Girl's Guide to Guns
- Vince Buckles - Former shop manager/head gunsmith who resigned at the end of season 2, and briefly returned as an outside contractor for part of season 3. As of season 4, Vince is still featured on the show as he has opened his own gun shop (Mesa Kinetic Research or MKR) near Red Jacket.
- Glenn "Flem" Fleming – Former shop welder who parted ways to open Acadiana Gunworks near Lafayette, LA and his own YouTube channel The Gunners Vault. Flem and his team still appear, but as outside contractors.
- Stephen Land (executive producer)
- Patrick Leigh-Bell (co-executive producer)
- Stephanie Buxbaum (co-executive producer)
- Dolores Gavin (executive producer for Discovery Channel)
- Zac McFarlane (director/cinematography)
- David Vanacore (music)
- Eric Johannsen (editor)
- Todd Beabout (editor)
- Edward Klau (editor)
- Mike Le (editor)
- The staff of Red Jacket also made an appearance in the second episode of the second season of American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior, asking Paul Jr. Designs to help them with a dragon-themed machine gun design.
- Will Hayden and Rich Wyatt (of American Guns) hosted the Discovery Channel special Top 10 Shootouts in which they discussed and demonstrated firearms used in events of American History. Will Hayden also made an appearance in another Discovery Channel documentary, How We Invented: Guns, which aired following the season 4 finale episode.
Sons of Guns first aired on the Discovery Channel on January 26, 2011 with the pilot episode “Civil War Cannon, Shotgun silencer.”
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms settlement
According to TMZ.com, during a routine inspection by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) in 2009, Red Jacket could not account for ten registered firearm parts. In a settlement, William Hayden and Stephanie Hayden surrendered their gun-making licenses and were allowed to choose a licensed individual to control Red Jacket. Initially, that person was Vincent Buckles, but Buckles has left the company and now two other individuals control the company.
In a WBRZ article, Attorney Craig Davidson, Jr., said that 10 guns did not go missing from the shop. Instead, one or two guns were stolen during 2001–2008. Davidson claimed the rest of the missing guns were receivers that were thrown away or destroyed when gunsmiths made mistakes. Although Davidson characterized the lost weapons as "simple bookkeeping errors", the ATF requires serial-numbered parts to be tracked. Will and Stephanie Hayden did not keep track, so, according to Davidson, Hayden and the ATF mutually agreed to shut down Red Jacket, Inc.
Davidson further stated that at that time, Hayden was already in discussions with the Discovery Channel about the show and had plans to start another business, Red Jacket Firearms, L.L.C. Will Hayden is not an officer of Red Jacket Firearms, L.L.C. When Davidson was asked why Hayden was not an officer, Davidson stated the reason was a "confidential business decision".
- Dallas Fort Worth airport incident
In September 2011, Jupiter Entertainment, the Sons of Guns production company, made the evening news when its staff member, on the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, parked a rental truck, containing automatic weapons and pyrotechnics, outside the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport while waiting for a colleague. Part of Terminal B was closed for several hours while the FBI investigated but found no wrongdoing. An executive of the production company said he regretted the incident and blamed it on "a simple yet colossal error in judgement by a member of our staff."
- Child Abuse arrests
On August 27, 2014, the series was abruptly cancelled after it was revealed that child endangerment, child rape, and abuse charges were brought against Will Hayden. "Given the serious and horrific nature of the charges against Will Hayden, we have decided to halt further production of 'Sons of Guns' and cancel the series," a Discovery Channel rep told TMZ. After the announcement, the Discovery channel website was "scrubbed" of information about the show. In September Hayden's eldest daughter, business partner, and 'Sons of Guns' co-star, Stephanie Hayden, changed her claims from that of defending her father to accusing him of also raping and abusing her as a child.
Since the cancellation of the show, Kris Ford was arrested on child abuse charges and for assault on a minor. Stephanie Hayden-Ford, who is the mother of the child from a previous relationship, was also arrested for assault charges on Friday October 17. Bail was set at $25,000 each according to WWL, which was paid and the pair was released from jail.
- Hibberd, James (December 16, 2010). "Discovery Orders Hidden Treasure Reality Shows, Renews Three Others". The Hollywood Reporter.
- "Gun company cuts ties with reality TV star". AP. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- "Red Jacket website".
- "Red Jacket staff biographies". Discovery Channel official show website. 2013. Archived from the original on 14 December 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
- Staff. "Joe Meaux". Sons of Guns biographies. Discovery Channel. Archived from the original on Dec 8, 2012. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
- Episode 307 about Desert AR; episode ? lending Cho to RJF
- Episode 40? helping out at the shop
- Episode ? auction bidding; episode 403 buying Nambu parts and pistol
- Episode 303 discussing products with Stephanie; episode 404?(37) mailbag.
- "Rich and Will's Top 10 Shootouts". IMDb. February 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
- Staff (December 23, 2011). "'Sons of Guns' Stars Punished by the Feds for Major Firearms Violations". TMZ. EHM Productions, Inc.
- Ryan, Stephanie (December 27, 2011). "Stars of "Sons of Guns" dispute TMZ report". Baton Rouge, LA: WBRZ-TV.
- The WBRZ article refers to Red Jacket, LLC, but the actual name from Louisiana Secretary of State records is Red Jacket Firearms, L.L.C.
- Gordon, Scott; Sakmar, Elvira (September 12, 2011). "Security Scare Closed DFW's Terminal B Temporarily". Dallas-Fort Worth, TX: KXAS-TV. Associated Press.
An executive of the production company said he regretted the incident and blamed it on 'a simple yet colossal error in judgement by a member of our staff'.
- "Reality star accused of rape, child molestation". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2014-08-28.
- Moyer, Justin. "The scary past of former 'Sons of Guns' star — and alleged rapist — Will Hayden". http://www.washingtonpost.com. Washington Post. Retrieved 27 October 2014. External link in
- "Sons of Guns' Star Stephanie Changes Her Story... Dad Raped Me Too". TMZ. Retrieved 2014-09-07.
- "Bruise leads to arrests of ex-'Sons of Guns' stars in Livingston". WWL. Retrieved 2014-10-26.
- "Two Sons of Guns reality stars arrested for beating nine-year-old boy with a leather belt". Daily Mail Online. Retrieved 2014-10-28.