I established Fire and Steel in 2014 to forge hand made knives. I made a good start, but not good enough, so I resumed my career as a Business Analyst. We moved to Wellington, choosing to live in Upper Hutt where I was delighted to discover that I could indulge in another of my passions, shooting. I joined the NZ Deer Stalkers Association (Hutt Valley Branch) and enjoy the use of their Kaitoke rifle range.
While shooting has been a life long passion, it was only with the move to Wellington that I found the time and facilities to start rifle shooting. I was a keen target pistol shooter and archer/ bow hunter in South Africa but was unable to take my pistols with me to the UK and the arrival of two fine sons meant that my passions had to be curtailed. They are now fine young men, so I have the time, and my enthusiasm and passion still abound.
It has been a grand journey, rebuilding and adding to the knowledge I accumulated over many years of reading and applying it practically, building my skills and refining my equipment. I have two rimfire rifles, a Ruger 10/22 and a 30 year old Walther KK Metallic Silhouette, and spend many happy hours at the range - I put more than 7000 rounds through the two rifles in my first year. I also have an Edgun Matador and compete in Field Target, with a Falcon T50. Learning is fun!
Being an analyst by training and a mechanical engineer (and wannabe gunsmith) by natural interest, I am always looking for ways to improve the results I achieve. Part of that is building skills, but, given my love of reading and shiny technology, mostly it is researching and wish-dreaming about the lovely gear I can buy. What a wealth of products there are available, overwhelming, in fact. But NZ is a long way from anywhere and, while the range on offer here is really good, it is generally at a premium to the USA (is there anywhere else to compare to?).
So, when I found an opportunity to sell the Falcon Optics range of rifle scopes at prices competitive with the USA (using Amazon prices as a base, and adding only GST), I decided to repurpose Fire and Steel. Welcome to my store.
I discovered Lean (the Toyota Way, or Toyota’s way of managing its operations) while working in Perth, and have taken that as the basis of my work as a Business Analyst. The process of doing so fundamentally changed me. I now think Lean and will be applying that in Fire and Steel.
A key Lean concept, and equation that every business must balance, is ‘Maximum value to the customer for the optimum price’. The Falcon Optics products certainly meet this criteria, with a feature set found in scopes that are considerably more expensive and optical quality that suffers only in comparison to these much pricier scopes. They are not equal to Schmidt and Bender, Nightforce or top end Vortex scopes, but provide most of the quality for a fraction of the price.