Custom crafting and first-rate firearms

I discovered Houlding Precision Firearms Inc. (updated, previously known as Houlding and Kaufman Ironworks) quite accidentally. I was at a handgun training seminar where vendors were displaying their goods. One vendor had an upper that caught my eye...

It wasn’t too bulky and kept its alignment throughout the test. It mounted under my optic with a profile lower than my mount, and didn’t crowd what was already on the rails.

I put the Laserlyte pressure switch on the right side of the mag well, but I think I will experiment with Magpul’s Angled Fore Grip (AFG) before I mount one permanently. The beam on this laser is abrupt, and I would have liked to have had it on every high-risk stop I ever made. Where the dot goes, the bullet goes. I mounted the HKI upper to my Franklin Armory lower and headed to the range.

Military Ballistics Industries is an ammunition manufacturer that does not cater to civilians. This is ammunition for law enforcement and security professionals, which means its quality control standard is high and the product is not remanufactured. For me, it meant my groups touched at 50 yards and the entire test went flawlessly.

My setup put most of the weight forward of the midpoint of the carbine, mostly because of the profile of the barrel. I had some extra things mounted, like lights and optics, but they did not contribute to the balance significantly. The weight and the muzzle brake allowed me to rapid fire at 25 yards and smoothly transition from target to target.

It took me a while to mount my optic and sight in. Between the top rail of the receiver and the forend, there is an abundance of room to mount just about anything. After that, I enjoyed a day of almost no muzzle rise and practicing lateral movement.

I have subsequently put many more rounds through an HPF upper without a hitch. Considering a couple hundred of these rounds were my own reloads, I can testify that I had a pretty good time.

While we were walking through the shop I mentioned that there were several local officers talking about the HPF breaching door. Houlding told me the local sheriff’s office had a training session on breaching, and for some reason the original plan fell through. Then an officer contacted Houlding with a special request. The officer sketched out a rough drawing of what he needed in a breaching door and asked Houlding if he could make one.

“When do you need it?” Houlding asked.


I wouldn’t have agreed, but Todd did. He showed me the door and the HPF innovative spirit was revealed to me in a simple plan. You see, most breaching doors require something proprietary to hold the door closed. This is usually a plastic insert or a similar object that goes through the frame and part of the door. This object is broken or sheared under the correct amount of force. One usually has to order these through the manufacturer. The HKI breaching door uses 1/2-inch dowels and 2-by-6 sections. Instead of having to keep this stuff on-hand, a quick trip to the hardware store keeps an agency training all day. The frame is indestructible; the panels are the parts that break.

The HPF upper is an all-day shooter, suitable for that traffic stop gone bad. The HPF breaching door is a better mousetrap.

HPF has an interest in becoming the type of manufacturer that commands pride in ownership for something an officer would count on to get him home after his watch. I got to peek at some of the future innovations already being planned at HPF, including new calibers and something that only a custom manufacturer can do. I couldn’t be more proud to live in the Central Valley.


Lindsey Bertomen is a retired police officer who teaches at Hartnell College in Salinas, Calif.

  • Enhance your experience.

    Thank you for your regular readership of and visits to To continue viewing content on this site, please take a few moments to fill out the form below and register on this website.

    Registration is required to help ensure your access to featured content, and to maintain control of access to content that may be sensitive in nature to law enforcement.