GREENWOOD – A lifelong passion for guns and a desire to fill a gap in the customized gun market created the foundation for a new business in Greenwood.
Grant Schutter opened Custom Gun Solutions last summer, building super-customizable AR semiautomatic (also known as modern sporting) rifles and other types of guns. The business operates out of a shop building at his home at 347 East First Street in Greenwood.
The idea for the business came from a desire to create a product that was unlike anything on the market.
“Everyone had cheap ARs that looked like junk,” he said.
On the other end of the price spectrum, the rifles were selling in the range of $1,000 to $3,000, Schutter said.
“So we wanted to be right in the middle,” he added.
Schutter learned about guns very early in his youth from family and friends. A neighbor, who was more like a grandfather, was a gun smith.
“I kind of grew up around guns,” he said.
By the age of 15, Schutter really wanted his own hunting rifle. By the age of 18, he went beyond that hunting rifle and started collecting guns.
Schutter initially began the business with his cousin and best friend, Colton Hans. The pair moved to Greenwood from Omaha in 2017 after Hans got a job in Lincoln and Schutter continued working as a concrete pumper in Omaha.
After kicking things off last August, Schutter brought in two Greenwood residents to assist with the business. Mike Johnson helps Schutter build the guns, while his wife, Tanya Johnson, does the accounting and bookwork. Hans relocated to Texas last summer and isn’t directly involved in the business at this point.
“Mike and Tanya have been helping out a whole lot,” said Schutter.
Schutter learned how to customize guns by trial and error, experimenting on his own guns to get things right. He is an auto mechanic by trade.
“I learn just by doing it,” he said.
Schutter and Mike Johnson work on orders at nights and on weekends. Along with Tanya Johnson, they also spend their weekends at gun shows.
They will be at the two-day gun show planned in Ashland on March 28 and 29 at the American Legion Club and VFW Hall.
They sell between 30 and 50 guns per weekend show, he said. They attend a show every two or three weeks during the gun show season, which runs from September to April.
“Once the gun show season hit, it really kept going up from there,” Schutter said.
Even though it is a part-time business, sales have been brisk, the owner said.
“We’ve had a steady increase ever since the beginning,” Schutter added.
Schutter tells customers it takes four to six weeks to complete an order, but often that is not the case.
“A lot of times it doesn’t take that long,” he said.
Along with building a gun that is made to the customer’s wishes, Custom Gun Solutions also offer a lifetime warranty.
“That sets us apart from the competition,” said Schutter.
Each gun comes with an engraved plate that says “Made in Greenwood,” another unique feature that is particularly important to the local customers who have been very supportive.
“A lot of people buy guns from us now and we have made a lot of connections with the communities between Ashland, Greenwood and Waverly,” Schutter said.
Eventually, Schutter would like to open a storefront in Greenwood and elsewhere. Now that his cousin lives in Texas they are thinking about opening a store there as well.