Shop owner trades construction for gunsmithing
By Jessica King
From the curious to the experienced, those interested in all things firearms need look no further than Main Street.
Bravo4 Tactical Armory at 1140 Main St., Suite 101, sits across the street from 7-Eleven and just east of Rice King. From his roughly 850-square-foot shop, owner Zach Fetterolf sells not only rifles, shotguns and handguns, but all the things a responsible gun owner would need to go with them — from safety goggles and ear plugs to storage cases and cleaning supplies. He also offers a range of classes, from gun safety to survival training.
Fetterolf, 34, originally opened Bravo4 Tactical Armory in 2011 at Sixth and Main streets, above the office of Farmers Insurance agent Amber Ramirez. At its current location, the shop has built a steady stream of clientele that includes current and former military, law enforcement, hunters and people who like to compete in amateur shooting competitions.
Opening a gun shop was a no-brainer for Fetterolf, who grew up immersed in the shooting world.
“I was born and raised in Colorado and we were hunters and shooters most my life, so I’ve always been into guns,” he said.
Though he grew up learning about guns, the six-year Ramona resident did not start his professional life as a gun shop owner.
Fetterolf spent 11 years working in construction before deciding he needed a change of pace.
“It’s good pay but you sacrifice your body,” Fetterolf said of the structural concrete work he did.
Before leaving construction for good and opening Bravo4 Tactical Armory, Fetterolf signed up for a two-year online gunsmith school that covered all the basics of gun care and safety, as well as the regulations that govern gun ownership.
Fetterolf also became a licensed instructor in the state of California so he could help customers receive their handgun safety card.
The classes offered by Fetterolf range in cost from $35 for those in his shop to $200 for overnight trips to Warner Springs.
In addition to selling guns “off the rack,” Fetterolf offers customization services, especially for AR-15 rifles and 1911 handguns. He said he is in the process of expanding that side of the business, which is completed off-site in another Ramona location not open to the public.
Bravo4 Tactical Academy is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.
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