Arms manufacturer to open $9.5M SC facility, hire 55 people

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A California-based arms manufacturer will open a $9.5 million facility in Greenville and hire 55 people.

S.W.O.R.D. International primarily makes small arms for the U.S. military and law enforcement agencies and was started by Jeremy Elrod, a former Army Ranger who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The company is incorporated in California, and will continue to do the majority of its research and development in its facility in Sparks, Nevada. Key employees will remain there as well.

Greenville will handle some research and development, all sales and customer support, distribution and production.

On the company’s website, Elrod said he started the company in 2010 because, “I was shocked to see the lack of reliability, durability and functionality of our primary small arms system. Loose tolerances, poor materials and antiquated manufacturing techniques made for a sub standard weapon system.”

The 44,000-square-foot facility on Beverly Road will be upfitted by January, the Greenville Area Development Corporation announced in a news release Monday.

S.W.O.R.D. Vice President Jason Hamilton was quoted as saying the company considered several locations but selected Greenville County because “the community and culture of Greenville made our decision easy.”

Gov. Henry McMaster said in the news release the decision by S.W.O.R.D. International Inc. to locate its new facility in South Carolina is “another sign that our state’s business-friendly climate, skilled workforce and exceptional market access are working to attract investments that create new jobs.”

The company’s acronym stands for Special Warfare Operations Research and Development.

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