Hill Country Outdoors
What now encompasses almost 30,000 square feet of stateof-the-art facility upon 12 acres of frontage road on Interstate I-10 in Comfort started in a tiny garage just outside Boerne.
“My wife came in one night and looked at all the guns and tools scattered about and said, ‘I’m glad that you’ve found something you love and that you’re doing so well but, this has all gotta go,’” said Apache Rifleworks co-owner and founder Paul Duran III.
Duran heeded his wife’s decree and opened for business at his current location soon after.
The idea of what to call his new business came to him not because his family has some Apache ancestry but because of his clothing.
“I knew I wanted to use ‘rifleworks’ in the name but decided on the ‘Apache’ part because I was wearing an Apache Construction hat at the time,” he said.
Duran spent considerably more time deciding on his company’s logo though.
“The arrowhead stands for accuracy and awareness, the rattlesnake’s jaw for strength, and the hand for hand to hand combat. All are pretty much universal symbols in native cultures and define the warrior spirit,” Duran said.
Apache Rifleworks opened its doors in 2016 and was almost an immediate success. Customers were drawn from all over the Hill Country to purchase and have serviced firearms, take part in classes and seminars, shoot in one of the numerous indoor airconditioned 25-yard pistol and rifle ranges, and train with MILO.
“The MILO Range training system is a real game changer,” he said. “It offers the most advanced feature set available for interactive firearms training. The system has over 700 ready-to-train scenarios and the MILO Course Designer scenario-authoring software allows us to create our own scenarios such as a home intruder and active shooter.”
Customers utilizing the system walk through various lifesize encounters projected on to the walls around them. It is almost like being projected into an immersive video game.
In 2018, Duran expanded Apache Rifleworks - and came full circle back to his garage in a way – by opening an onsite machine shop to offer custom rifles.
Despite the huge success of this aspect of the business, there are often little in the way of on-the-floor models to show customers.
“We don’t want to have samples of what we came up with on the floor,” he said. “We want people to come in and say, ‘This is what I’m dreaming of’ and we tackle each one of the of those dreams in a special and specific way. We mainly specialize in long-range hunting rifles but can and have done pretty much anything a customer can think of.”
Building and providing realities of gun dreams has been extremely popular as Apache Rifleworks has taken orders from throughout Texas, Alabama, Kansas, Louisiana, Arkansas and beyond.
“We saw a 140% increase in sales last year alone and I think that kind of success comes from our promise to treat people with respect and to treat them the way that we’d want to be treated,” he said. “And we do not take our customers’ money lightly. We earn every purchase.”
A world-class shooting facility and a custom rifle shop that’s seen interest from the world over. Not bad for a guy that started out in his garage!
Young is a Fredericksburg
resident and avid outdoorsman whose work appears in the paper, Rock & Vine magazine and other outdoor publications.