On June 18, 1977, MidwayUSA first opened their doors under the name Ely Arms, Inc, operating from a small (1,536 square foot) metal building and serving mid-Missouri customers with new and used long guns, handguns and shooting and reloading supplies. Thirty years later, MidwayUSA is a catalog and Internet retailer offering "Just About Everything®" for Shooting, Reloading, Gunsmithing and Optics.
"Most people think founding the company was a great stroke of genius, but it wasn't. Simply stated, the beginning of MidwayUSA was a little bit of dream and a lot of circumstance," said Larry Potterfield, founder and president of MidwayUSA. "I have always loved guns – shooting, reloading and gunsmithing are my hobbies – and I have been fortunate to find other like-minded people to join us at MidwayUSA in serving our Customers."
MidwayUSA has experienced a significant amount of growth and change in its first thirty years. The first decade brought an entry into mail order, a name change to Midway Arms, Inc. and closure of the retail business to focus on mail order. The second decade saw a major product expansion, the launching of an international division and the establishment of the MidwayUSA name. The third decade saw continued steady growth and witnessed the creation of an award-winning website, the debut of a Master Catalog and the launch of the GunTec division, designed to share knowledge.
"Larry and I have always put our customers and the industry first," said Brenda Potterfield, co-founder and vice president of Industry and Community Relations."The employees at MidwayUSA are passionate about shooting and hunting – and that passion shines through to our customers. Larry and I always believed supporting the National Rifle Association and the Shooting Sports Industry was something we just had to do."
Both MidwayUSA and the Potterfield family have generously supported the NRA over the years, both in personal contributions and the start up of two important NRA Programs. NRA "Round-Up"® was created by MidwayUSA in 1992 and has raised over $3,500,000 for the National Endowment for the Protection of the 2nd Amendment.Friends of NRA was also created by MidwayUSA in 1992 and several "friends of the Company" from the local community. Friends of NRA has generated millions of dollars since that time, that has been used for shooting programs all over the country.
MidwayUSA is anticipating great things in 2007. The GunTec dictionary, an online dictionary of gun-related terms, just launched, while an online gunsmithing services locator will launch early in the year. MidwayUSA is also mailing Master Catalog #30 in February 2007 and looking to add approximately twenty thousand products during 2007.
"What a great time to be at MidwayUSA," said Larry and Brenda Potterfield.