LONGWOOD, Florida -(Ammoland.com)-On Monday morning, the gun world lost one of the most prolific sub-machine gun builders. Richard “Hoff’ Hoffman of BWE Firearms succumb to his battle with colon cancer.
Richard cut his teeth in the sub-machine gun world by working for the legendary Sam Cummings at Interarms in Alexandria, Virginia. He became one of the company’s top gunsmiths. He would leave the company after the death of Cummings and move to Orlando, Florida, to start BWE Firearms with his wife, Micki. Richard concentrated on gun building and repair. His wife ran the day-to-day operations of the company.
The company would see explosive customer growth, and Richard’s knowledge of machine guns would attract gun owners from around the country. Not only did American gun owners seek out his unique skills, but Richard’s knowledge of Uzis was also so revered that IWI from Israel would refer customers from around the world to contact Richard for support of their Uzis. The amount of National Firearms Act (NFA) items that the company was working on would cause the Hoffmans to decide to exclusively concentrate on machine guns.
On any given week, BWE firearms would have anything from a Thompson submachine gun to an M2 Browning .50 caliber machine gun in the shop. Whatever part couldn’t be resourced to repair a firearm, Richard could make it himself. His skills were so revered that people would wait up to a year to have Richard work on their machine guns. Many customers claimed their guns ran better after Richard worked on them.
Richard was also a firearms historian. Not only could he repair any machine gun in the world, but he understood the history of the firearm and the company that produced it. Richard became an expert for many firearms personalities, journalists, and publications. He would never charge for history lessons or to answer questions about guns. His philosophy was that the more people who possessed knowledge about firearm history, the more we could preserve our rights.
Richard believed in the right to bear and keep arms. His battles with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were legendary. From telling them to come back and “remember to bring body bags” to telling them they were “dumbasses.” Richard would never let what he saw as an unconstitutional agency intimidate him. In the weeks leading up to his death, he said his plan after he died was to come back and haunt ATF Director Steve Dettlebach.
Two years ago, Hoff began to feel sick. He tried to tough it out, but he wasn’t getting better. At the urging of his wife, he sought medical care. When he was examined, he was immediately sent to the hospital for emergency surgery. Hoff would end up getting part of his intestine removed. Doctors would discover that he had stage four colon cancer. He was always resistant to getting a colonoscopy, a decision that he regretted and something he would advocate for others to get at age 45.
Facing his own mortality, he decided to share his knowledge of firearms and firearms history by creating the BWE Firearms YouTube channel. He saw many talented gunsmiths pass away and take their knowledge with them. He wanted to leave his knowledge behind before he got too sick.
Richard wouldn’t give up the fight. He sought chemotherapy treatment for his cancer, but his illness continued to progress. His wife would work extra hours at BWE Firearms to help cover for her husband. Last year his wife suffered a major heart attack and tragically passed away. Micki was the love of Richard’s life, but he would continue to fight for his two children.
Richard would win many battles against cancer, but not every war is winnable. Three weeks ago, I received a call from him saying he would be “moving on from this world soon.” The doctor said he had around three weeks to a month to live. He entered hospice and was given palliative care. He wasn’t scared for himself but was worried about his children. Even when he was close to the end, he was concerned about others over himself.
“He was a loving husband and father and a passionate supporter of the Second Amendment, our world is a darker, sadder place without his light and levity, and our hearts are broken for his children…our beloved sub-gun competitor and gunsmith was truly among the best, and the last of his kind here on earth,” YouTube Personality, Hank Strange told AmmoLand News. “May almighty God hold him and his wife closely in Heaven and bless his family as they and us grieve deeply for his loss.”
Richard passed away peacefully in his sleep. He is survived by his two children, Amanda and Nicholas. A GiveSendGo was set up to help with expenses for his celebration of life. Hoff was adamant that we didn’t use GoFundMe because he viewed it as an anti-gun company and said if they are anti-gun, then “f them.”
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.
So Sad, RIP Brother
The good die young,RIP.
I prefer to think of him as battling evil, in another dimension.
I really liked his gunsmithing videos. He will be missed.
Hoff was the best, he will be remembered
“He was always resistant to getting a colonoscopy, a decision that he regretted and something he would advocate for others to get at age 45.” I pontificate here when I see an article of interest or reply, maybe too much. So please do not ignore what I’m about to write, please. It is very important to know if there is any incidence of Colon cancer in your family tree, this cancer is definitely inherited, not sure if that’s the only way it’s transmitted but it is a gift from your ancestors that keeps on giving. My wife’s side of the… Read more »
Good to hear she found a Doc that was concerned. As much as I hate the Prep for a colonoscopy. They are worth the small inconvenience. Peace be with her.
Thank you. The prep has gotten significantly worse over the years. When she first started the annual colonoscopies they gave her this stuff called Fleet’s Phospho-Soda prep. That stuff worked good. The problem was it caused electrolyte problems in some so in the mid nineties they stopped using the product. As you reported, now you get a gallon jug with some God-awful powder in it you mix with water. Of course they attach a couple of flavor pacs you can add to the mix to make it tolerable or not. There must be a better way…but until then it’s the… Read more »
My first one was at the VA. The lady scheduling the appointment told me to be at such & such at a certain time. So I took it upon myself to do a prep with some stuff they had sent me. Can’t remember what it’s called. Mix it with Gatorade. Unfortunately I did not get the colonoscopy that day. But I did spend the night on the pot. Because this visit was to schedule the date for the colonoscopy. And go over the prepping. I had told the scheduling nurse that I had already prepped. And she said your not… Read more »
That prep is called Go-Lytely (it’s anything but)… I had to get 2 of the following being taken out by a drinking driver. I’d sustained a 6 inch tear of my transverse colon and after the repair, I had anything but normal stool function. Although ‘normal’ the 1st guy failed to get enough biopsy specimens,
so 2d time around, I had to make sure my sense of humor was well intact. When I awoke, I said… What’s the difference between me and Michael Jackson? They had no idea… I just said… “I woke up”.. LMAO!
“Richard believed in the right to bear and keep arms. His battles with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were legendary. From telling them to come back and “remember to bring body bags” to telling them they were “dumbasses.” Richard would never let what he saw as an unconstitutional agency intimidate him. In the weeks leading up to his death, he said his plan after he died was to come back and haunt ATF Director Steve Dettlebach.” My kind of guy! My attitude towards those ATF clowns is one that would mirror his. Richard spoke no truer… Read more »
Thank you. Already shared this article on FaceBook Special Forces Brothers…Prayers up for Richard, his wife and surviving children. I do hope and pray his 2 kids are looked after.