Tampa firearms company introduces big gun

- The newest gun from Serbu Firearms packs quite a punch.

"You can shoot pretty accurately at a thousand yards," said Mark Serbu, a mechanical engineer who founded his company in Tampa in 1996.

His latest offering is the BN-50, a single-shot, .50-caliber rifle.

"It's a lot of gun for the money," he continued.

Priced at $875, Serbu has dozens of the guns in production at his manufacturing plant near Tampa International Airport. He believes, as big as the gun is, law abiding Americans have a right to own one.

"At the time of the writing of the Second Amendment, all they had were muskets, but they were the most advanced military weapons of the day," he said. "So the most protected rifles are these -- assault rifles."

GUN SALES BOOM

Serbu knows many disagree that such guns should be available, but like larger gun makers, Serbu's sales have gone up as President Obama and others have proposed tighter gun restrictions.

"We know we can't stop every act of violence," the president recently said in video produced at the White House. "But what if we tried to stop even one? What if Congress did something, anything to protect our kids from guns?"

Serbu disagrees. "'We gotta ban this, we gotta ban that?' A lot of people see the handwriting on the wall," he said.

BLASTING ACROSS THE INTERNET

At a recent firearms trade show in Las Vegas, video showed people crowding Serbu's booth. Many had seen his guns on YouTube and other places on the internet, which has been a boon to Serbu and other boutique firearms manufacturers.

"We haven't bought a magazine ad for probably five years," Serbu explained. "And yet, we have all the business we can handle."

We watched as he manipulated a digital 3-D image on a computer screen. He's already thinking of his next gun as he shoots for record sales.

The firearms boom spreads across the spectrum of manufacturers. Smith and Wesson reported revenues for the quarter ending January 31 may be as high as  $180 million, a 16-percent increase from its forecast  given in December.

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