October 13th, 2010

Ammo-Makers Expand Production and Hire Workers in Idaho

ATK Lewiston, IDTwo ammunition manufacturers in Lewiston, Idaho, plan to add “significant numbers of workers” this year and next. Alliant Techsystems (ATK), parent of CCI, Alliant Powder, RCBS and other companies, expects to add about 100 jobs by the end of 2010, and Extreme Bullet plans to expand its facility and add about 100 jobs over the next few years. ATK’s employee ranks will grow to approximately 1,200 workers by the end of this year.

ATK will be re-hiring many workers laid off in a 2009 force reduction. According to the Spokane Journal of Business, “The new hires should give ATK a total of about 1,200 workers by the end of 2010 at its plant on the east side of the Snake River.” The Journal also interviewed ATK Spokesman Jason Nash who explained: “We’ve definitely had a few good years at the plant there. There’s been an increased demand for sporting ammunition, which has allowed us to add to our employment base.”

Speer Brothers Brought Ammo Production to Lewiston
Here is an interesting historical footnote. Today’s large ATK operation in Idaho can be traced back to the companies founded by the Speer brothers. After settling in Lewiston in 1944, Vernon Speer started Speer Bullets. A few years later, in 1951, Vernon’s brother Dick (with partner Arvid Nelson) started Cascade Cartridges Inc., a producer of small-arms ammunition and primers. Yes, as you may suspect, Cascade Cartridges Inc. is now CCI, part of ATK’s family of companies, and one of the largest manufacturers of primers and loaded ammunition. Today, ATK’s Lewiston plant produces both Speer bullets and CCI-branded ammunition and primers. ATK acquired the plant in 2001. Vernon Speer died in 1979, and Dick Speer died in 1994.

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