We’ve come a long way over the past 7 years, and we would like to share our story with you, the history of how 1800GunsAndAmmo came to be.
Back in 2007, we began as a company called Webyshops. Founded by our CEO Mikhail Orlov and two close friends, Igor Motkin and Alex Grigorenko, Webyshops offered a variety of web based services in the Arlington, TX area. However a small side business selling rifle scopes soon became the star attraction. Orlov, who had a background in importing military surplus gear and selling night vision optics, began listing rifle scopes and gear on the Webyshops domain. Soon that website, riflescopes.webyshops.com outpaced all the other operations, and it became clear that the true business for Webyshops was selling sport optics.
Over the next few years Webyshops continued to grow as new brands and items were added to the site. Now just Webyshops.com, the website expanded to include outdoor gear, firearms, sport optics and of course more rifle scope brands. Next, we opened a retail location next to our office to sell equipment to the local customers who supported us. All our hard work started to pay off. In 2014, we made the Inc. 500 / 5000 Fastest Growing Companies In America at an impressive #381, and two additional top 5000 awards followed. Webyshops.com had become a destination for shooting sports and outdoor enthusiasts, and we showcased thousands of products from the best outdoor brands around the world.
CEO Mikhail Orlov pictured in the Webyshops / 1800GunsAndAmmo warehouse.
However, something was still missing, and to fix it we had to look at the company itself.
For years we had successfully built the Webyshops business and attracted a large customer base, but the confusion around our name never got any easier. How do you spell it? How is it pronounced? Do you sell computer parts or build websites? We lacked the core identity of who we are with our consumers, and to take our business to the next level, we had to change that.
About this time, the political climate around selling firearms was changing fast. Amazon pulled their firearm products and created a long list of prohibited items, many of which were important products to our customers. Many companies stopped working with firearm retailers altogether, including institutions like banks. Facebook and other websites started crafting policies about what you could say or post about firearms. The vast majority of responsible, legal gun owners out there were being persecuted as though they were criminals.
The combination of the changing firearm climate and confusion about our name led us down a new path. We would create a safe place for shooting sports and outdoor enthusiasts to buy the products they need. To make that possible, we would have to offer more brands and products than ever before. We needed to create an “Amazon-like” shopping experience for our customers and essentially become the “Amazon of Shooting Sports.” Above all that, we needed an identity that was clear and a name that made it obvious who we are. We went with something simple yet concise: 1800GunsAndAmmo.
We’re still in the process of growing and adding new brands to 1800GunsAndAmmo.com, and we invite you to join us as we create the best website for Second Amendment supporters on the web. We hope that you will share with us what you want to see or the products you think are missing from our website. Of course, we also hope you’ll choose us when you need a good deal on a firearm, ammunition or other outdoor gear. We appreciate your business and your support throughout the past 7 years, and we look forward to great things to come.