USA – -(Ammoland.com)-Damn good ideas don’t always come from million dollar labs staffed by timid engineers with Ivy League degrees.
More often than not, these “now why didn’t I think of that?” moments have occurred in a garage, a backyard or a basement.
Occasionally, they have even occurred on a small farm in Central Texas. Jeremiah Cottle had one of these moments and had the courage to turn that idea into Slide Fire; the breakthrough technology that’s put a little more “awesome with a side of freedom” into our range trips.
I sat down with Cottle to get the lowdown on how Slide Fire came to be, how it works, what’s next and his thoughts on life, the universe and everything, (Maybe a little hyperbole there, but you get the idea).
1. What’s your background?
I grew up on a farm in Moran, Texas, and when I turned 19 I joined the military and served in Bosnia, Kosovo and Operation Enduring Freedom where I was injured and then retired from the military and returned home. You know… growing up on a farm, out in the country, when something broke down it wasn’t like you could just go to town and buy the parts you needed. My Granddad always taught us that to fix something we needed to think outside the box and use our own two hands, so that’s what I’ve always done and I used this mindset to create Slide Fire.
2. How did you come up with the idea of Slide Fire?
I’ve been a recreational shooter my entire life and I’ve always enjoyed shooting full auto. At the same time purchasing a class 3 firearm is outrageously expensive, not to mention it requires a mountain of paperwork sure to give you life-threatening paper cuts. I had bump fired in the past but it was completely uncontrollable, unsafe and unusable. I wanted to find a way to change that, to make bump firing safer and more controlled. I tried all kinds of things: harnesses, different bump firing techniques, but none of it worked, and if they worked they weren’t reliable or consistent. One afternoon it dawned on me that you needed a stable platform to hold on to the firearm but that the firearm still had to be able to move in order to bump fire. I wondered if this could be done by replacing the pistol grip and the stock. So I went out in my woodworking shop and got a 2×10 and PVC pipe and duct tape.
It took me an hour to put it all together, it was getting dark but I had to test it or I wouldn’t be able to sleep. It ripped off the 10 round mag and it worked perfectly, but I no longer had a safety since there was no pistol grip. Also there was no lock switch so the stock would just slide off. Safety issues that needed to be solved aside, I knew what I designed had promise and that I needed to start doing some 3D engineering if I wanted to move forward. But getting a 3D print is expensive and I was broke. I had to decide if this was a just, “hey that’s kind of cool” or if this was something that really had promise. So I thought about it and I prayed about it. Ultimately, I decided to go for it. I used all my savings from the military, sold everything in my house that wasn’t nailed down and started making 3D printed models and solving problems. Finally, I sent the stock to the ATF when I had a design that was close to being commercially ready. I was so happy when I got the word that it was approved.
3. Who is the Slide Fire stock geared to?
Some people like drag racing, some people like skiing and some people, like me, love full auto. Unfortunately, the average recreational shooter doesn’t have access to a class 3 firearm of their very own; although awesome, they’re just expensive and impractical, like buying your own personal golf cart hover craft. I mean, if you can afford it, why not? For everyone else, Slide Fire brings shooters the same full auto experience but without having to take out a second mortgage on their home.
4. How does it work?
Really, all I did was create a way an individual can shoot a firearm differently. I simply changed the way they pull the trigger. They press the gun into a firing sequence and the recoil and sliding stock allows them to pull the trigger very rapidly at near full auto speed. I will say there’s a learning curve to it and it often takes a couple of magazines for people to figure it out. I always like to tell people it’s like the gas pedal on a car, if you push forward gently, it will go.
5. What’s the accuracy and reliability like?
It’s extremely accurate compared to a full auto rifle and it’s much more controllable. The sliding stock absorbs the recoil, like a shock on a motorcycle, making it easier to aim. As far as reliability goes it has very few moving parts; there’s really nothing to break on it. The stock’s not going to malfunction so it’s really just a matter of whether the gun you’re using it on is reliable or not.
6. What sort of quality control measures do you use?
Every Slide Fire stock we send out is test fitted on a lower to make sure the fit and function are correct. Every single one is visually inspected for flaws and the ones that don’t pass muster are rejected.
7. There has been some chatter on the Internet, especially after Orlando, that Slide Fire literally makes a gun an “automatic” and thus should be banned. Your thoughts?
I’ve read the articles, they’re completely incorrect. An automatic weapon is one that fires multiple shots with a single pull of the trigger. With Slide Fire you still have to pull the trigger each time it fires. The Slide Fire stock does not change the mechanics of the firearm it simply enables the shooter to pull the trigger very rapidly. Should we ban Jerry Miculek’s trigger finger because he can fire 6 shots from a revolver, reload and fire 6 more shots in less than three seconds? I mean that works out to around 240 rounds a minute!
8. Can you give us a peek at future product offerings?
Well, there are two new designs for the AR15 and the AK47 that I’m developing; they’re going to bridge the gap between our legacy stocks and our high-end stocks. Also, we’ve partnered with a few firearm manufacturers and hopefully this fall we’ll be offering complete Slide Fire rifles.
9. What should I have asked you, but didn’t?
I want people to know this is a veteran-owned company and I built it with my own bare hands. This wasn’t built by investment firms. This was built by me. I had a dream and I made it happen. I don’t say that to brag, I say it to encourage others. If you have an idea, chase that idea. You don’t want to be 75 years old and think, “what if I had actually done that.” You don’t want to be kicking yourself years from now and you won’t know if you could have succeeded unless you try.