Foundations

So after a recent video by some well respected guys in our industry, I have decided that it is time to share the Gamechanger story with our community so they can make thoughtful buying decisions when it comes to a concept that that I invented to make positional shooting more enjoyable and reduce the barrier of entry for aspiring marksmen.  Rather than bore you with a long backstory of how I was raised and why it applies to my business decisions, I will summarize with this: my humility is seen by some as a weakness, but understand that I am calm, calculated and typically one step ahead of my opposition.  My passions are numerous resulting in that jack-of-all-trades approach towards ingenuity with a personal understanding that I rely on subject matter experts to accomplish my goals in the near perfect fashion that I expect.  

 One of the first production models of the Gamechanger sewn by Clifton Reasor in May of 2016 just prior to release. 

One of the first production models of the Gamechanger sewn by Clifton Reasor in May of 2016 just prior to release. 

As most of you know I created the Gamechanger bag because basically I sucked at positional shooting off props and a national level competition was fast approaching in the Spring of 2016.  Due to my struggles and because I had already tried every existing option on the market, I began crafting solutions that I thought would support my rifle so I could apply minimal pressure to stay on target and eliminate wobble.  Believe it or not, I started with a set of woodworking clamps that I creatively attached to an existing bag that I owned but knew that match directors would probably tell me to pound sand when I pulled the contraption out at a stage.  Fortunately my wife had a portable sewing machine and kindly taught me how to thread the tiny bobbin with my fat fingers.  So it began and in one long week I had gone through numerous yards of Duck fabric that I purchased at the local craft store and loose poly beads were spilled all over the house.  After several trips to the range where I tweaked nearly every measurement multiple times, I had the final design.  At Woody's PRS match just a week later in mid April, I used my hand sewn project to earn my highest ever placement to date in a national level match.  Due to the weight and shape, first impressions by most were heavily criticized and nicknames were aptly earned due to the unorthodox appearance, but "Gamechanger" stuck because it just works.  That’s where it began…     

Framework

Fast-forward to August of 2016 where previous months had been filled with exhausting nights fulfilling hundreds of orders and marketing a new concept that was sparking interest all over North America, this second full-time business had become overwhelming due to capacity limitations and capital expenditures to keep everything moving.  A gentleman that I once admired and respected from a well known bag manufacturing company reached out to me and offered an OEM relationship that was exciting and meant that I could potentially support the demand that had grown across the country.  What most people don't realize is that the shape of this bag is very difficult to sew from a durability standpoint and everything I taught myself had to be shared for them to execute the product.  Not only that, but I was naive to believe that a "handshake" agreement was all I needed to protect my intellectual property given my initial investment in a Utility Patent for the Gamechanger's "Grasping Front Support Bag for Firearm Stability" concept that I invented.  

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Running a business, especially a secondary venture, is a stressful endeavor when self-funded by a construction worker and a schoolteacher salary so trying to keep up with a fast growing customer base while equipment, material, labor, marketing, shipping, accounting, and legal expenses rapidly accumulate demanded substantial cash and time.  Don't get me wrong, Reasor Precision is a profitable and financially savvy company, but our goal was long term stability and it was evident that in order to remain on our career paths and stay relevant in a market that we poured our blood, sweat, and tears into that something had to change.  That change, Tom Fuller of Armageddon Gear, approached us at the perfect time in January of 2017 and I am proud to be affiliated with such a reputable and quality company.  Tom Fuller is as passionate as I am about delivering the best products to his customers and inspiring the creation of new ideas based on customer feedback and our own experience in the shooting sports.  Our partnership was never a malicious attempt to take away market share from anyone as the OEM relationship was requested to never be unveiled publicly during our prior business transactions in order to protect one another.  My business decision was based on the ability to serve my customers with the best product, service, and experience to expand our reach internationally and ultimately recoup our initial investment someday. Although that decision was not respected by my previous OEM and they have elected to launch their version encompassing the “Grasping Front Support Bag” utility with a few minor aesthetic tweaks and market it as their own, I find peace in knowing that my new partnership results in more support for our community.

 Version of Gamechanger shell produced by OEM in August of 2016 with a few of Clifton's comments noted on bag to ensure functional consistency.

Version of Gamechanger shell produced by OEM in August of 2016 with a few of Clifton's comments noted on bag to ensure functional consistency.

The soft goods market especially for shooting bags has low barriers of entry from a business perspective and historically very little consideration for intellectual property; therefore, I chose to pursue a formal Non-Provisional Utility Patent via a respectable IP firm in order to maintain exclusivity of my design for the 21 years after issuance that our great nation has chose to regulate via the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  That journey has been both expensive and rewarding because I finally understand the “American Dream” that attracts so many people to be innovative.  Anyone who has been through this process understands that it takes years of back and forth mediated communication and subtle revisions in order for an examiner to understand the conveyed concept from their outside perspective.  Luckily we are in the final step of expected patent issuance and I hope to follow up this article in the coming months with our success story.  Reasor Precision performed their due diligence in notifying and informing offenders that have infringed and continue to infringe on our intellectual property and have announced impending enforcement upon receipt of our Utility Patent.  Altering a textile or claiming to dissect an existing product does not make anyone innocent from employing a specific and detailed concept that has been claimed by its inventor. We are protecting our design in an effort to avoid the market being overran with watered down, less functional, inferior products claiming to be the same or “better”.  The Gamechanger was designed with very specific dimensions and has been extensively tested with nearly every form of fill and textile that apply to the application of its design and ensure durability.  Due to our passion for never settling, this product will continue to evolve.  We are only getting started…

Punch Out

I expect this information to be met with criticism as every company has its fan-boys, but the basis of this article is not to seek pity or stir up controversy, rather to share my experiences with an audience that I respect and appreciate so they can make their own consumer decisions based on the facts rather than #FakeNews.  Let's raise a pint glass to having the guts to do something unorthodox and overcome challenges.  It’s not just another bag…   

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