1) What inspired you to start JP Enterprises?
My father got me into competitive shooting at a very young age and enrolled me in the St. Paul junior rifle club. By the time I got into high school, I already had a pretty good foundation. In my first year at St. Thomas Military Academy, we had to shoot our qualifications one day in the small bore range and the rifle team coach was walking up and down the line looking at targets. When he saw mine, he ordered me to report to the range after school to join the varsity rifle team. You could say “The rest is history”. When I got out of college, it dawned on me that I was “unemployable” in any conventional sense of the word. I had to work for myself. After exploring several possibilities, I sold everything I owned and made the down payment on a retail gun store that had been around since the end of the Second World War. After working that business for 13 years and suffering quite a few break-ins, I realized I had to move on and out of the “brick and mortar” situation. I decided to get into the mail order accessory business catering to competitive shooters as I understood the special needs. Soon I came up with an idea for a muzzle brake and had my first proprietary product. After getting involved in the practical shooting sports, I soon realized that the AR-15 was hands down the most competitive rifle for that game and started to solve the issues of this platform, one by one. Now we have an extensive line of proprietary performance based components and complete rifles that optimize performance for both the competition shooter and the LE or Military user.
2) Earlier in 2014 you teamed up with 5.11 to collaborate on a series of rifles, can you walk us through how that relationship started and what led to the creation of these three platforms and why not just create one rifle.
Chandler from 5.11 actually approached us about the collaboration sometime in mid-2013. We had some discussions and finally I suggested that he and others from 5.11 come up and visit us and have a range day. After the trip to the range and a chance for a live fire demo, the program took shape rather quickly. I always enjoy watching people shoot our rifles for the first time. After a few rounds, they always have this amusing look on their face, a combination of disbelief and pleasant surprise. You can talk about our rifles all you want, but once you pull the trigger, then you finally understand. As there are so many applications, having only one rifle was just not realistic. I suggested several configurations that would fit the main market positions for both 5.11 and JPE. First, a pragmatic LE type patrol rifle based on our JP15 series. Then an all-out competition rifle based on the SCR-11 competition side charging platform. Finally, a large format rifle in 308/7.62 built on our LRP-07 platform for the precision long range shooter. These three configurations probably capture about 90% off the market interest and I’m confident they will be very successful.
3) If you had to select a favorite rifle from the JP/ 5.11 ABR edition which would it be and why?
As I’ve become more involved in the long range precision shooting circuit, I’d have to vote for the LRP-07. I have a lot of trigger time on that platform and it never ceases to amaze me just how reliable, accurate, ergonomic and fast on the sight recovery this rifle is due to the technology we have built into every one.
4) What’s the main point of distinction between a JP Rifle and the other rifles out there?
That’s a tough one and I could go on for hours. But if I have to boil it down to the essence, I’d say it is all about innovation and build quality. No other rifle maker comes close in my opinion.
5) What are some of the recent major shooting competitions that you or some of your team might of won with any of the 3 platforms we modeled the 5.11 Always Be Ready rifles after?
I’m too old to be “winning” much of anything, but I’m still competitive. (laughter) However, my long range shooting partner Clark Kennedy and I won the PTS team match in TN a couple years back (2012 I think). We were both shooting the LRP-07 platform and this was the first time a team using gas guns had ever won a long range tactical match, a venue which is traditionally dominated by bolt guns. We not only won, we were 27 point ahead of the next team with a score of 229. That is a huge margin at this type of event. That win really changed how people perceived the capabilities of gas guns and in particular our LRP-07 rifle in terms of its capabilities. By the way, the 2nd place team was also a JP team using bolt guns in our AMCS (Advanced Modular Chassis System), so it was a good day.
However, we do dominate much of the 3 gun world with many of our team shooters winning their divisions at many matches with rifles nearly identical to the 5.11 ABR rifles, too many to list really. However, one team we’re particularly proud of is the AMU (Army Marksmanship Unit) team of Daniel Horner and Tyler Paine. They have won the International Sniper Championship held at Ft Benning two years in a row with Horner using an LRP-07 for the support weapon. In fact, this year I believe the top 3 teams were all using the LRP-07 for the support weapon. You can’t buy that kind of endorsement. This event gathers the best of the best in this particular discipline from all the NATO countries.
6) Do you have a favorite 5.11 product? Which one and why.
There are so many great 5.11 products. But if there is one 5.11 product that I can’t live without, it is the Taclite Pro shirt with the really well thought out concealed pockets. I not only use them for competition, but always for travel as you can conceal your cash, passport and other valuables.
For more on JP Rifles and the 5.11 ABR Collection.