BLACK HILLS AMMO GOING STRONG With 30-plus years of success in government, consumer markets, ‘customers know they can count on our ammunition.’ PHOTOS BY BLACK HILLS AMMUNITION
oy meets girl. Boy and girl share a love of shooting, hunting and all things gun. Boy and girl take this enthusiasm and run with it, helping to launch – and eventually run – a successful ammunition company. Not your typical love story, that’s for sure. But that’s what makes Jeff and Kristi Hoffman’s story so great. We’ll let Jeff Hoffman take it from here … I GREW UP hunting, shooting and reloading. My father and grandfather taught me to shoot and I fell in love with it. I had my first rifle at around age 7, and my first pistol at 12. I spent my youth toting a Winchester Model 74 .22 rifle all over the area around Fort Pierre, South Dakota, as I grew up. My grandfather had a carton of .22 shells on his gun cabinet. His rule was I could have as much as I wanted, but I needed to leave 75 cents for every 50-round box of CCI Mini-Mags I took, so that he could buy a new box when that one ran dry. The system worked well. In high school I met Kristi. Now my expenses were ammo, plus gas for my pickup truck to pick her up at her dad’s farm. I didn’t have much money, so a common date was to show up with a full carton of .22s so we could shoot prairie dogs on her family farm. We later went to the same college. She studied accounting and I studied criminal justice. After college I was hired by the Rapid City Police
Jeff and Kristi Hoffman.
Department. We moved here and in 1980 we were married. Despite making the princely sum of $4.67 per hour, plus working a second job, in addition to wages from Kristi’s full-time job, things were pretty tight financially. I was on the department’s pistol team and was buying a case of ammo every paycheck from the department rangemaster, who reloaded ammunition as a way for him to help make ends meet. I was his best customer, buying reloads for $60 to
$70 per case of 1,000 rounds. One day he asked if I thought he could make a living making ammunition full-time. I said no. He didn’t listen and started Black Hills Shooter’s Supply. He hired me immediately to help load ammunition. That was my third job, in addition to being a cop and working hotel security, all at the same time. As I loaded ammunition on a Dillon 1000, one of the three loaders the company owned, I realized I had been wrong. There was a considerable americanshootingjournal.com 85