'Gun Metal Forge' Turns America's Unwanted Guns into Heritage Tools

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EP+Co unveils online shop that turns firearms into tools hand-crafted by an artisan smith
'Gun Metal Forge' Turns America's Unwanted Guns into Heritage Tools

Guns. Hotly debated, always divisive, but with one undeniable fact: there are millions of unwanted firearms in the United States. Firearms that lay unwelcome, unused, or in uneducated hands for many years, collecting dust, getting lost, or worse. Safely disarming and discarding these firearms is costly, dangerous, and difficult, resulting in a big – and critical – challenge across the country. 'Gun Metal Forge' was founded by EP+Co to help turn this challenge into an opportunity, transforming unwanted guns into usable, unique, heritage tools.

Each tool created is hand-crafted by an artisan smith using designs and processes that make the most out of the gunmetal, while honouring the original form and heritage of the firearm. Whether it’s a hammer, knife or wooden mallet, every tool is carefully constructed so that it can be appreciated, passed down, and most of all, used safely.

“I knew the biggest question when we launched this would be, ‘why?’ Why would an ad agency wade into something as hotly debated as guns?” said Con Williamson, president and chief creative officer at EP+Co. “Well for us, the question should always be, ‘why not?’ We’re not coming to take peoples’ guns. Unless they want us to. What we’re trying to do is help Unthink a problem and turn it into something that serves a purpose. We’re in the world of bringing ideas to life, and this one combines our passion for tinkering, making and prototyping, with a real opportunity to help solve a problem, which is pretty awesome.”

Each tool is made using a forging process that begins one of two ways: You provide the firearm and base metal or they source it from a national gun recycler. In either process, each custom order is developed with a specialised team of smiths who will help produce a one-of-kind tool that is unique to each customer and their needs.

Tools will be available to order beginning today from the Gun Metal Forge website or via a limited-time pop-up store, opening exclusively in EP+Co’s headquarter city of Greenville, South Carolina. Open until December 15th, the store will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the tools, allow customers to explore and order the products on offer, and purchase exclusive in-store merchandise.

The concept for Gun Metal Forge was born via the agency’s internal 'Unthink Everything Challenge' earlier this year. The competition challenged employees from every department to collaborate across disciplines to create their own brand and unthink an idea that gets people talking. All proposals were pitched to a team of judges, with Gun Metal Forge winning the opportunity to be physically brought to life by EP+Co.

Find out more here.

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EP+Co, 3 months ago