Last July, managing editor Michelle Cerino and I took a little quick trip to Portland, Oregon, at the invitation of one of our partners at The WON, Crimson Trace. Both of us have been using the products for years now — including laser sights and tactical lights — and the good folks at Crimson Trace thought we’d like to see how they go about producing the finest optics for firearms in the nation.
Sponsored by Crimson Trace
So, we invite you to go behind-the-scenes with us, within the walls of the Crimson Trace factory, in this photo feature:
Founded in 1994, Crimson Trace is the leader in making laser sights and tactical lights in the industry. We arrived bright and early at the factory in Wilsonville, Oregon.
Crimson Trace has shipped more than 2 million laser sighting and tactical lighting systems to customers, including the United States Armed Forces, federal/state/local law enforcement agencies, private security officers, concealed carry holders, defensive-minded citizens, target shooters and sportsmen.
According to its website, “Crimson Trace places a passionate focus on our products because the lives of our customers may depend on it.” Boom. In fact, here’s its mission.
Throughout the tour, we saw evidence of pride and mission focus and generally, a calm attitude of craftsmanship and attention to detail throughout the plant with its 100+ employees.
This … is the Crimson Trace “wall of fame,” holding its many awarded patents throughout the years.
As I noted, Crimson Trace works closely with the military and check out Michelle’s pose with the M72 LAW (Light Anti-Tank Weapon), which is a one-shot, 66mm unguided weapon. A soldier will remove the optics from the weapon after it’s shot and place them on a free M72 LAW for the next shot.
We met Crimson Trace’s armorer, TJ Milashouskas, who said there’s never a dull moment in his shop or on the nearby indoor range.
Milashouskas retrieved this treasure from a safe in his shop. It’s a GLOCK 9×19, the first recipient of the first-ever CT GLS laser — 25 years ago. It’s a piece of company history and Michelle and I think it should be in a shadowbox display or a museum somewhere.
After walking through the lines at the factory, we met a supervisor who took us through each step of assembly for the simplest of products, the Rail Master red laser. Crimson Trace’s first universal laser sighting system, this is one of the company’s most popular items and can be attached aftermarket to rails on pistols, rifles and shotguns. MSRP: $159
Michelle solders wires of the Rail Master Universal Laser Sight (CMR 201) into place. We then tested the red lasers, and voila! They worked perfectly and we took home fully functioning lasers for our guns.
After the tour, we headed to the range. Milashouskas said that the average product will function easily up to 5,000 rounds and “can go more.”
Athough small, the company store offered some great products, such as this coffee mug. Of course, Michelle and I bought one each, along with tee shirts and zip-up hoodies.
Watch for more product reviews and experiences with the line of Crimson Trace products this fall at The WON, including a Texas hog hunt and range time with tips.
Publisher/Editor Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in hunting, shooting and outdoor markets. She is a contributing editor at "SHOT Business," and her bylines are found at several top hunting and shooting publications. She also is a travel writer, and you can follow her at ozarkian.com. View all posts by Barbara Baird